Parents Need More Education About Child's Cardiac Surgery

Fast-track cardiac surgery milestones not clearly understood by patients' parents
By Jane Parry
HealthDay Reporter

THURSDAY, April 23 (HealthDay News) -- Parents of patients undergoing fast-track cardiac surgery need to be educated and informed more fully prior to surgery if they are to be more effectively involved in their child's care, according to a study published in the April issue of the AORN Journal.

Kaanthan Jawahar and Angela Antonia Scarisbrick, R.N., of Great Ormond Street Hospital for Children in London, conducted a study of 42 parents or caregivers of children who underwent low-complexity cardiac day surgery under a fast-track process.

Parents' perceptions about how long it would take for a child to waken from surgery and to have the endotrachial tube removed diverged considerably from the actual time it took to reach these surgical milestones, the researchers found. Most parents expected to be present when their child came round from the anesthesia, the investigators noted.

"The majority of parents who expected to be present were actually present and 33 of 42 felt they were either 'involved' or 'very involved' during the entire process," the authors write. "An implication of parents overestimating the surgical and recovery time is that they may feel that they or their child is not ready to be discharged. If this is true, there is certainly a case for more preoperative teaching, such as through interactive booklets and group sessions."

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