Heart Education Awareness Resource and Training through E-learning (HEARTe)

Congenital: Case 2 Part 1: Baby Kirsten

Kirsten: pre-natal

Katie goes for a scan

Katie is 18 weeks pregnant with her first baby and attends the ante-natal clinic for a routine anomaly scan. During the scan, the midwife sonographer notices abnormalities in the baby’s heart.

The sonographer asks the consultant obstetrician to review the scan results and a repeat scan is performed. Agreeing that the scans indicate the presence of heart defects, the obstetrician refers the baby to a foetal cardiologist.

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Dialogue between consultant obstetrician and parents

Katie: What’s the matter? Is something wrong with my baby?

Obstetrician: I’m sorry, but the scans show that there may be something wrong with your baby’s heart. We won’t know exactly what until we have done some further tests. If you agree, I’d like to refer you to a foetal cardiologist, who specialises in unborn babies with heart problems.

Partner: How quickly can this happen, doctor?

Doctor: I’m going to refer you as a matter of urgency. I’ll contact the foetal cardiologist today and, hopefully, you will hear from him in the very near future. Until then, there’s not a lot I can tell you until we have done further tests. Once we know exactly what is going on, we will be able to decide on any further treatment or management.