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1 in 150 Australian's are born with congenital heart disease, however thanks to advances in medicine and cardiac care outcomes for babies born with these conditions have improved in just the last 20 years from a 67 per cent to 83 per cent chance of survivability.
This means there are more adults than ever before living with Adult Congenital Heart Disease or ACHD and while treatment and management continues to improve these people still do need specialised cardiac care as the conditions can still be life threatening.
Dr Murgur Nicolae is one of the small number of full time Cardiologists in Australia who specialises in Adult Congenital Heart Disease and practices at Mater Hospital, South Brisbane.
"People with ACHD have been born with structural problems in their hearts which changes the way blood flows through the heart. Some conditions are harmless, but others can be complex and can cause life-threatening complications and that's what we manage," Dr Nicolae said.
"Mater has a robust ACHD service where we see patients from all over Queensland and Northern New South Wales both publicly and privately and collaborate with other hospitals to optimise patient care.
“We are also unique as we are one of only two centres in Queensland to offer expert care to women with ACHD during pregnancy and can see them from conception through to birth in the Mater Mothers’ Hospital under a multi-disciplinary team.”
Clinical Nurse Consultant Adult Cardiology Wendy Senior acts as the navigation point for the over 600 patients who access the service.
“I am focused on improving the way children are transitioned to adult care moving from one hospital to another, this is an incredibly risky time for them, and we need to have adequate support services in place,” Wendy said.
“It is estimated around 50 per cent of ACHD patients are lost to adequate follow up with their care providers worldwide and this can have devastating impacts on the patient.
“We also find patients with ACHD can be impacted by post-traumatic stress disorder, other mental health issues or disability due to the nature of their illness and we are committed to helping our patients access support services they may need.”
To find out more about Cardiology Services at Mater please visit, https://www.materonline.org.au/specialist/cardiology
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