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RECEIVING A CHILD’S DIAGNOSIS OF COMPLEX CHD: PARENTS’ PERSPECTIVES AND COMMUNICATION TOOLS

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Author(s): Debbie Hilton Kamm

Journal: Congenital Cardiology Today
ISSN 1554-7787

Volume: 3;
Issue: 12;
Start page: 12;
Date: 2005;
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Keywords: diagnosis of complex CHD | CHD | Resource Guide | HLHS | California Heart Connection | Prenatal Diagnosis | CHD | Congenital Heart Disease

ABSTRACT
When presented with their child’s diagnosis of complex Congenital Heart Disease (CHD), parents are understandably emotional and often overwhelmed due to lack of knowledge of the heart condition, unfamiliarity with the terminology and medical environment, and grief over the loss of their “healthy” child. They may be intimidated to ask questions, or very often, do not even know what questions to ask. Yet, parents must quickly learn about the diagnosis and make many tough decisions including whether or not to terminate if the diagnosis occurs during pregnancy. Physicians can help parents in this situation by acknowledging their emotions, clearly communicating diagnosis-specific information, and being aware of the manner in which information is presented and interpreted by the parents.
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