Article Text

  1. M DeSantis1,
  2. M Roberti1,
  3. S Giovannini1,
  4. P R Ialonardi1,
  5. F DiIorio1
  1. 1Intensive Care Unit, Department of Medical and Surgical Paediatric Cardiology, IRCCS Bambino Gesu Children’s Hospital, Rome, Italy


Introduction and Aims The health needs of the child and young adult and their satisfaction are the most important aim of nursing care. The use of ever more complex technology for the treatment of specific diseases means that the nurse has to cope with equally complex problems and therefore change nursing assistance. International scientific literature reports different international experiences with regard to the use of Berlin heart (BH), as an instrument for the assistance of paediatric patients with cardiomyopathy and cardiac failure. The objective of this work is to describe the care available to BH patients at the cardiology department (DMCCP) at the Bambino Gesù Paediatric Hospital (OPBG) in Rome.

Methods We are concerned with BH patients treated over the past 10 years (February 1999 to April 2008). We have identified many assistance problems regarding the child/family as well as technical aspects. For the identification of the adequate operative mode, the “prestazioni infermieristiche” model has been used.

Results We assisted 10 patients with different treatment indications. During the assistance, nurses met with many problems: from the satisfaction of basic needs to the complex relationship of the nurse/child and their family.

Conclusions Considering the international scientific literature, the experience of DMCCP is positive, with regard to the survival rate and the method of treatment. Certainly, a greater expertise is based on the number of cases treated. An exchange of experiences through the international centres, which treat paediatric patients with BH, would be a useful way to optimise nursing assistance.

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