We would like to thank our colleagues for their highly relevant comment on our clinical snapshot (1).
Indeed, ongoing care of adults with congenital heart disease (ACHD; also known as grown-ups with congenital heart disease, GUCH) is a problem. Drawing attention to it was also an intention of publishing our article. In particular, the transition from pediatric cardiology care to adult care is difficult. Up to 50% of patients are not referred to an ACHD center (2), although it has been demonstrated that care for ACHD by specialist physicians is superior to that by non-specialists (3).
As a matter of course, we also consider pediatric cardiologists who are ACHD/GUCH certified to be qualified for participating in the ongoing care of ACHD. The decision of the social courts, which has been contested by our colleagues, is incomprehensible, especially with regard to the currently insufficient care of these patients. The decision about this, however, is ultimately the responsibility of the relevant bodies.
From the patient’s point of view, it is crucial that regular ongoing care be provided by a qualified center. A current list of physicians with an ACHD certificate can be found, for example, on the homepage of the Children‘s Heart Foundation of the Deutsche Herzstiftung e.V. (www.kinderherzstiftung.de/emah.php).
On behalf of the authors
Prof. Dr. med. Harald Dormann
Klinikum Fürth, Germany
Conflict of interest statement
The authors of each contribution declare that no conflict of interest exists.
|1.||Huber M, Wolf M, Dormann H: Late complication after surgical treatment of aortic isthmus stenosis. Dtsch Arztebl Int 2019; 116: 62 VOLLTEXT|
|2.||Baumgartner H: Does frequently inadequate adult care threaten the outcome of congenital heart disease after successful paediatric treatment? Eur Heart J 2018; 39: 990–2 CrossRef MEDLINE|
|3.||Cordina R, Nasir Ahmad S, Kotchetkova I, et al.: Management errors in adults with congenital heart disease: prevalence, sources, and consequences. Eur Heart J 2018; 39: 982–9 CrossRef MEDLINE|