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Fifteen-minute consultation: Assessing the child with a Blalock-Taussig shunt who is unwell in a district general hospital
  1. Steven McVea1,
  2. Anne McGettrick2
  1. 1Paediatric Intensive Care, Royal Hospital for Children Glasgow, Glasgow, UK
  2. 2Paediatric Critical Care, Royal Hospital for Children Glasgow, Glasgow, UK
  1. Correspondence to Dr Steven McVea, ST7 Paediatric Intensive Care, Royal Hospital for Children, Glasgow G51 4TF, UK; steven.mcvea{at}btinternet.com

Abstract

Univentricular heart disease accounts for ~1.25% of all congenital heart disease. Such cases remain among the most challenging to manage, typically requiring a three-staged palliation. The first stage involves placement of a systemic to pulmonary shunt. While a variety of shunt types, including ductal stenting, can be used to manage univentricular conditions, the archetype remains the Blalock-Taussig (BT) shunt. While waiting future palliative intervention at home, intercurrent illness may necessitate presentation to a district general hospital where subspecialist advice and assessment is remote. This review aims to present the general paediatrician with a straightforward BT shunt physiology overview highlighting unique complications which may complicate intercurrent illness.

  • intensive care
  • cardiac surgery
  • cardiology
  • general paediatrics
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Footnotes

  • Contributors SM wrote, edited and revised the manuscript with review input from AM.

  • Funding This research received no specific grant from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Provenance and peer review Commissioned; externally peer reviewed.

  • Patient consent for publication Not required.

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