We realize that living with a single ventricle heart defect affects many areas of patients' lives. Because of this, we offer a unique treatment approach at Nationwide Children’s Hospital in our nationally ranked Heart Center program. Since May of 2013, our Adult Fontan clinic - the first of its kind in the Midwest - has combined the efforts of specialists from multiple areas to provide our patients with single ventricle physiology who have undergone the Fontan procedure with the quality assistance and medical attention they deserve.
When visiting the Fontan Clinic, patients with a single ventricle defect will see a team of specialists comprised of:
The Exercise Physiologist works with the patient to develop safe and effective exercise and physical activity strategies that can be realistically incorporated into everyday life. Components of exercise that will be addressed include Frequency (How often), Duration (How long), Intensity (How hard), and Mode (What types) as well as attitude, barriers, knowledge, and health concerns related to exercise. When a recent stress test has been performed, the results will be explained and used to further tailor the exercise prescription.
This is a team of doctors and nurses who have specialized training in adults who were born with heart disease. They have training in congenital heart disease and general medicine. They perform physical exams on each patient, order and interpret cardiac testing, as well as, manage medications to maintain cardiac health.
Health psychologists help people take better care of themselves by changing unhealthy habits (quitting smoking) or starting new healthy habits (exercising more). They are experts on how emotions and thoughts are affected by what happens to the body. Health psychologists may work one-on-one with someone to teach them how to change habits, manage stress, and/or improve mood. They can help by teaching skills for coping with stress, talking with the medical team, and finding mental health services.
Clinical Dietitians meet with patients and families to help identify patient specific nutrition practices related to current health status. They provide various types of nutrition education based on the needs of the patient such as weight management, low cholesterol/low fat, low sodium, diet as it relates to certain medications (Warfarin), and trends in diet therapy (plant sterols, omega 3’s and flavonoids).
Social workers meet with patients and families to identify non-medical needs related to health care. They make sure patients and families have the emotional and financial support needed to cope with their medical diagnosis. They help patients identify if they qualify for financial assistance such as BCMH or SSI. They are able to provide emergency meal assistance for unplanned events and will check to see if you qualify for parking vouchers/transportation assistance. In addition, social workers make sure that you have information about Advanced Directive/Palliative Care planning.