Adult congenital cardiac services

North wing of SGH at night (Photo by Jonathan Upton)The adult congenital cardiac service sees patients who are referred to them following outpatient appointments, emergency patients, and adults who have known about their congenital heart condition since they were a child. Babies and children are initially referred to the children’s congenital cardiac service and when they get older they will then move through the transitional clinic and into the adult service.

Some adults referred to the unit might have a known congenital heart disease. For other adults, congenital heart conditions are not picked up until later in life. They might be spotted during a routine medical examination or because complications have developed.

Advances in earlier diagnosis, improved surgical techniques, innovative and advanced treatments and follow-up mean than many more babies born with a congenital heart condition are living into adulthood. Adults with congenital heart disease (ACHD), also referred to as grown-up congenital heart disease (GUCH), now outnumber the babies and children with a heart condition. Just as the babies and children need specialist care, so the adults need to be cared for by the adult congenital cardiologists who have specialist expertise and experience with this group of patients.