Advanced Cardiology: Knowing the Enemy

So after yesterday’s review, we have a good idea how a healthy heart works. But you or your child has a heart defect… what do we do? There are thirty five different, distinct Heart Defects. And if that isn’t bad enough, some of us have a “blend” – a defect that has traits or two (or more!) single defects.

That’s why I’m going to recommend a book to you. Before I do, I’ll state this: I don’t work for this company, nor do I have any type of commission deal with them. What I do have is a copy of their book, and I use it a LOT.

The name of this book is the Illustrated Field Guide to Congenital Heart Disease and Repair.

There are two versions. Both have a spiral binding, so it can lie flat on a desk. The large format version is 7 inches by 10.5 inches, about the side of a larger paperback book. The pocket sized version is 4 inches by 7.5 inches, small enough to slip into a purse or even tuck into your pants at the small of your back comfortably. Even in the smaller size, the print is very readable.

The book features an explanation and a diagram of all the identified heart defects. If that isn’t enough, most of the recognized Congenital Heart Operations are described and diagrammed, along with the major variations. For example, you can find descriptions of the Blalock-Taussig Shunt, the Mustard repair (which is rarely used today), two versions of the Fontan, and five different ways to complete the Norwoord Procedure.

And if that isn’t enough, there is also a section concerning Cardiac ICU units, Electrophysiology, and information on some of the drugs that are available for Congenital Heart patients. This is probably the most useful book I have ever seen. I have the Second Edition, but I recently ordered the Revised 2nd Edition, which has been expanded to over 400 pages! The only thing that I don’t like about the book is that it has a few more “doctor words” than a newcomer to CHD’s may understand. Usually if you don’t understand the words, the diagrams will show you.

You can buy one using this form. Don’t let the form scare you – this company sells the majority of its items to doctors offices and hospitals, that’s why you see the words “Purchase Order” and fairly high prices. The Field Guides cost $50 for the smaller version and $125 for the larger edition, and they can be worth every penny.

No one can make a heart defect any less scary, but this book can make it easier to understand. And as a 1980’s public service announcement stated, “Knowing is half the battle.”

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One Response to “Advanced Cardiology: Knowing the Enemy”

  1. sonnet Says:

    nice informative data.
    I will buy this book.

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