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Paediatric Cardiology

Children's services (Paediatrics)

Advice for paediatric cardiology patients with regard to Coronavirus (COVID-19)

As the coronavirus pandemic is an ever changing situation, please see the Public Health England and the British Congenital Cardiac Association web pages for the latest advice:

https://www.gov.uk/guidance/coronavirus-covid-19-information-for-the-public

https://www.bcca-uk.org/pages/news_box.asp?NewsID=19495724

A coronavirus is a type of virus, which presents with flu-like symptoms including a fever, a cough, or difficulty breathing. The current evidence suggests that most cases are mild, even in children and young people who are immunosuppressed. Like the common cold, coronavirus (COVID-19) infection usually occurs through close contact (within 2 meters for more than 15 minutes) with a person with coronavirus via cough, sneezes or hand contact.

• Wash your hands more often than usual, for 20 seconds and whenever you:
• get home or into work or school
• blow your nose, sneeze or cough
• eat or handle food
• It's important to use soap and water or a hand sanitiser.

Further government advice is available here:
https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/

If your child develops symptoms and you are concerned this may be coronavirus:

• Follow Public Health England advice (PHE) as per NHS website
• Don’t stop medication unless this is advised by your health professional team
• Follow ‘stay at home’ government advice for households with possible infection: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/covid-19-stay-at-home-guidance

Social distancing advice:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/staying-alert-and-safe-social-distancing

Return to school:

The government has completed a phased return to school. For now this means that all children in nursery, primary and secondary school are able to return to face to face education, if their school can provide an environment that adheres to the social distancing recommendations. The paediatric cardiology specialists nationally are happy to support this recommendation.

Use of Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) e.g. Ibuprofen
There were early media reports regarding the use of NSAIDs in relation to COVID-19. These have been thoroughly investigated and the resulting report is in the link below:
https://www.gov.uk/government/news/commission-on-human-medicines-advice-on-ibuprofen-and-coronavirus-covid-19

Taking NSAIDs does not increase the risk of catching the virus
If you think your child needs the medication for pain or swelling you should continue.

For treatment of possible COVID-19 symptoms (fever and cough), paracetamol should be used first, if it is suitable for your child to take this medication but ibuprofen can be used in addition or as an alternative.

Further advice

If you need further advice about your medication or you become unwell and the doctor looking after you needs advice, please contact the paediatric cardiology advice line (01223 256920) during working hours (8:30-16:00, Monday to Friday).

The paediatric cardiology team provides the best possible evidence based care for all infants, children and young people with cardiac conditions.

Our Mission:

  • To provide the highest quality of care for children and families with suspected or affected by cardiac conditions.
  • To provide a service that is child friendly, accessible, safe, effective and consistent and is delivered with the family at the centre of everything we do.
  • For patients and families to be supported by staff who are caring, motivated and appropriately trained.
  • To continually assess and improve the care we provide.
  • To actively recognise clinical and scientific research, in order to help improve the understanding, treatment and management of children with a cardiac condition.
  • To work alongside other local and surgical cardiac centres to support our ultimate goal of providing the highest quality of care to the children with cardiac conditions in Cambridgeshire and surrounding areas.

About our service

The paediatric cardiac service requires multi-disciplinary input to provide a high quality service at a level 3 centre.

The team compromises of cardiology consultants: Dr Yogen Singh, Dr Wilf Kelsall and Dr Ying Chee

Great Ormond Street Hospital outreach cardiology consultant: Dr Robert Yates

Cardiac specialist nursing team: Katie Bradly-Russell, Anne Bartlette and Rebecca Lister

Our allied health professionals including: Dietitian - Philippa Galloway, Psychologist - Dr Victoria Richer & Amy Brown

Medical secretary: Karen Dodge

Our goal is for the child and young person to be able to fulfil their potential in all areas of growth and development, without any restriction associated with their condition. Care is therefore planned to the individual needs of the child and family.

Cardiac Specialist Nurse (CNS) Role:

  • To provide support and advice to mothers with an antenatal cardiac diagnosis for their baby.
  • To provide support and advice to parents of their new born, child or young person up to the age of 16 years with a confirmed or suspected cardiac condition.
  • To offer parents to gain the life skill in basic life support.
  • Educate children, young people, parents and nursing staff about cardiac conditions.
  • To provide telephone advice for parents at home who are looking after an infant with a cardiac condition.
  • To carry out weekly telephone monitoring calls for those children who require this.
  • To provide support and advice when the parent and child attend their outpatient clinic appointment.
  • To carry out a ward visit to provide support and advice if your child is admitted to one of our children’s wards at Addenbrookes Hospital.
  • To liaise with community teams and other health care professionals involved with your child’s care.
  • To manage patients on the medicine Propranolol.
  • To assist families with gaining social and financial support.
  • To provide advice and guidance on lifestyle issues.
  • To provide bereavement support.

Transition clinic: is for young people aged 12-16 years old who need ongoing cardiology care into their adult life. They can be transitioned to an adult congenital cardiac service they prefer at a time which is best for them and we will support them in making this decision. However, we do work closely with Royal Papworth Hospital which is currently led by Dr Clive Lewis (Consultant cardiologist in ACHD) and Mrs Carole Phoenix (Specialist cardiac nurse in ACHD), and St Bartholomew’s Hospital. In the time leading up to transition, as part of our nurse-led transition clinic, we will aim to support and empower the young person throughout this process.

Fetal medicine clinic: is where the mother will have a fetal echocardiogram scan – looking at their heart. A member of the CNS team will aim to be present and meet you. If the mother is given a cardiac diagnosis for their baby we will offer support, guidance and counselling for whatever the parents’ decision may be.

Specific advice relating to hospital attendance

Outpatient appointments

We are still able to see your child in person in the clinic environment. We are prioritising urgent cases where it is important for us to see your child in person, where depending on their condition will have an echocardiogram and, or an electrocardiogram.

Other appointments will sometimes be by telephone, unless it is essential to examine your child, this is to protect you and your child and reduce risk of virus transmission. The outpatient team will contact you to confirm whether your appointment is by phone or in clinic. If you have not had contact prior to your appointment, please phone the clinic to confirm the arrangements.

If you are attending clinic, only one parent can accompany your child (and no siblings).

Symptoms include:

  • Fever ≥ 37.8
  • Persistent cough (+/- sputum)
  • Hoarsness
  • Nasal discharge/congestion
  • Shortness of breath
  • Sore throat
  • Wheeze

If you think your child may have COVID-19 or is unwell, please do not bring them to their hospital appointment, it is important that you let us know as soon as possible. Please call the number on your appointment letter so that we can give your appointment to another patient waiting to come to clinic.

Where is the appointment held?

Paediatric cardiac clinics are held in Clinic 6 in the Outpatient Department - Addenbrookes Hospital

To make your child’s clinic appointment as productive as possible please keep the following in mind:

  • Please arrive 10 minutes earlier than your scheduled appointment.
  • Allow plenty of time for parking and locating the clinic if you are unfamiliar with its location.

Fetal medicine outreach clinic in Clinic 22 – The Rosie Hospital

Referrals

For GP’s to refer please use the Advice & Guidance service via the eReferral system for Paediatric Cardiology.

Additional resources:

British Heart Foundation

https://www.bhf.org.uk/informationsupport/coronavirus-and-you#experts

Children’s Heart Federation

https://www.chfed.org.uk/

Little Hearts Matter:

https://www.lhm.org.uk/

Children’s Heart Association

https://heartchild.info/web/

Downs Syndrome Association

https://www.downs-syndrome.org.uk/

MIND: Looking after your mental health and wellbeing

https://www.mind.org.uk/