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The transition from residency to paediatric cardiology fellowship is challenging due to the new knowledge and technical skills required. Online learning can be an effective didactic modality that can be widely accessed by trainees. We sought to evaluate the effectiveness of a paediatric cardiology Fellowship Online Preparatory Course prior to the start of fellowship.
The Online Preparatory Course contained 18 online learning modules covering basic concepts in anatomy, auscultation, echocardiography, catheterisation, cardiovascular intensive care, electrophysiology, pulmonary hypertension, heart failure, and cardiac surgery. Each online learning module included an instructional video with pre-and post-video tests. Participants completed pre- and post-Online Preparatory Course knowledge-based exams and surveys. Pre- and post-Online Preparatory Course survey and knowledge-based examination results were compared via Wilcoxon sign and paired t-tests.
151 incoming paediatric cardiology fellows from programmes across the USA participated in the 3 months prior to starting fellowship training between 2017 and 2019. There was significant improvement between pre- and post-video test scores for all 18 online learning modules. There was also significant improvement between pre- and post-Online Preparatory Course exam scores (PRE 43.6 ± 11% versus POST 60.3 ± 10%, p < 0.001). Comparing pre- and post-Online Preparatory Course surveys, there was a statistically significant improvement in the participants’ comfort level in 35 of 36 (97%) assessment areas. Nearly all participants (98%) agreed or strongly agreed that the Online Preparatory Course was a valuable learning experience and helped alleviate some anxieties (77% agreed or strongly agreed) related to starting fellowship.
An Online Preparatory Course prior to starting fellowship can provide a foundation of knowledge, decrease anxiety, and serve as an effective educational springboard for paediatric cardiology fellows.
Paediatric cardiology fellows, tasked with studying a large and dynamic field, may benefit from a quick-access digital resource that reflects contemporary practice. The objective of this study was to evaluate the effectiveness of a paediatric cardiology handbook smartphone app in enhancing the accessibility of information such as guidelines and recommendations for paediatric cardiology fellows.
Materials and methods:
The Peds Cardiology Handbook app (iOS) was designed using XCode and Swift programming. A pre-app survey and download instructions were sent to the US paediatric cardiology fellows, followed by a post-app survey. Fellows were asked to rate the ease of rapid access to various types of information. Responses were compared pre- and post-app using McNemar’s test and Wilcoxon signed-rank test.
Two-hundred and thirty paediatric cardiology fellows were contacted; 23% (n = 53) completed both the pre- and post-app surveys and were included for analysis. After using the app, fellows found it easier to quickly access information in eight out of nine domains evaluated (p < 0.05). All fellows found the app easy to use (100%), most felt that the app was well-organised (98%), contained reliable information (92%), and was useful for finding quick answers to clinical questions (87%).
The Peds Cardiology Handbook iPhone app is a useful, reliable tool that provides quick access to high-yield information, including guidelines and references. Overall, paediatric cardiology fellows found it easier to rapidly access clinically relevant information after using the app. Future studies may be necessary to evaluate long-term use and impact on evidence-based practice.
In view of the increasing complexity of both cardiovascular implantable electronic devices (CIEDs) and patients in the current era, practice guidelines, by necessity, have become increasingly specific. This document is an expert consensus statement that has been developed to update and further delineate indications and management of CIEDs in pediatric patients, defined as ≤21 years of age, and is intended to focus primarily on the indications for CIEDs in the setting of specific disease categories. The document also highlights variations between previously published adult and pediatric CIED recommendations and provides rationale for underlying important differences. The document addresses some of the deterrents to CIED access in low- and middle-income countries and strategies to circumvent them. The document sections were divided up and drafted by the writing committee members according to their expertise. The recommendations represent the consensus opinion of the entire writing committee, graded by class of recommendation and level of evidence. Several questions addressed in this document either do not lend themselves to clinical trials or are rare disease entities, and in these instances recommendations are based on consensus expert opinion. Furthermore, specific recommendations, even when supported by substantial data, do not replace the need for clinical judgment and patient-specific decision-making. The recommendations were opened for public comment to Pediatric and Congenital Electrophysiology Society (PACES) members and underwent external review by the scientific and clinical document committee of the Heart Rhythm Society (HRS), the science advisory and coordinating committee of the American Heart Association (AHA), the American College of Cardiology (ACC), and the Association for European Paediatric and Congenital Cardiology (AEPC). The document received endorsement by all the collaborators and the Asia Pacific Heart Rhythm Society (APHRS), the Indian Heart Rhythm Society (IHRS), and the Latin American Heart Rhythm Society (LAHRS). This document is expected to provide support for clinicians and patients to allow for appropriate CIED use, appropriate CIED management, and appropriate CIED follow-up in pediatric patients.
This study aimed to evaluate the incidence of cardiac disorders among children with mid-exertional syncope evaluated by a paediatric cardiologist, determine how often a diagnosis was not established, and define potential predictors to differentiate cardiac from non-cardiac causes.
We carried out a single-centre, retrospective review of children who presented for cardiac evaluation due to a history of exertional syncope between 1999 and 2012. Inclusion criteria included the following: (1) age ⩽18 years; (2) mid-exertional syncope; (3) electrocardiogram, echocardiogram and an exercise stress test, electrophysiology study, or tilt test, with exception of long QT, which did not require additional testing; and (4) evaluation by a paediatric cardiologist. Mid-exertional syncope was defined as loss of consciousness in the midst of active physical activity. Patients with peri-exertional syncope immediately surrounding but not during active physical exertion were excluded.
A total of 60 patients met the criteria for mid-exertional syncope; 32 (53%) were diagnosed with cardiac syncope and 28 with non-cardiac syncope. A majority of cardiac patients were diagnosed with an electrical myopathy, the most common being Long QT syndrome. In nearly half of the patients, a diagnosis could not be established or syncope was felt to be vasovagal in nature. Neither the type of exertional activity nor the symptoms or lack of symptoms occurring before, immediately preceding, and after the syncopal event differentiated those with or without a cardiac diagnosis.
Children with mid-exertional syncope are at risk for cardiac disease and warrant evaluation. Reported symptoms may not differentiate benign causes from life-threatening disease.
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