Congenital Diaphragmatic Hernia Clinic
The Congenital Diaphragmatic Hernia (CDH) clinic is a multi-disciplinary clinic consisting of General Surgery, Respiratory Medicine, Cardiology, the Neurodevelopmental Follow-Up Program, and Gastroenterology. Surgeons, Physicians, Clinical Nurse Specialist/Nurse Practitioners, Registered Dieticians and Physical/Occupational Therapists are involved in the assessment and coordination of care for children with congenital diaphragmatic hernia.
The purpose of this clinic is to provide a specialized environment for the follow-up and ongoing management of CDH patients post-discharge. This clinic was initiated in 2001 at SickKids with the recognition that CDH survivors are a complex patient population at risk for multi-system morbidities. In particular, CDH patients have a significant incidence of developing nutritional, neurological, respiratory, musculoskeletal and cardiac morbidities as a result of their underlying pulmonary hypoplasia and pulmonary hypertension.
To expedite and concentrate services for these patients, each CDH patient seen at the clinic is assessed by the teams involved to determine patient management plans. This provides the families of CDH patients with the convenience of “one-stop shopping” while promoting communications of medical concerns and treatment plans between the services involved. A specific follow-up scheme for CDH patients has been devised to provide CDH patients with a regimented clinical follow-up plan that includes cardiorespiratory, surgical and neurodevelopmental assessments and investigations.
As a result of this clinic, multiple publications on the management and outcomes of CDH patients have been published from this institution to document and promote the special needs of this patient group.