PHM20 Virtual: Can’t miss heart disease for hospitalists


PHM20 Virtual session title

Can’t Miss Heart Disease for Hospitalists


Erich Maul, DO, MPH, FAAP, SFHM

Session summary

Dr. Erich Maul, professor of pediatrics, medical director for progressive care and acute care, and chief of hospital pediatrics at Kentucky Children’s Hospital, Lexington, presented an engaging, case-based approach to evaluate heart disease when “on call.” He iterated the importance of recognizing congenital heart disease, especially since 25% of these patients usually need surgical intervention within the first month of diagnosis and about 50% of congenital heart disease patients do not have a murmur.

Presenting cases seen during a busy hospitalist call night, Dr. Maul highlighted that patients can present with signs of heart failure, cyanosis, sepsis or hypoperfusion, failure to thrive, and respiratory distress or failure. He discussed the presentation, epidemiology, diagnosis, treatment, and prognosis. He also provided examples of common arrhythmias and provided refreshers on management using basic life support (BLS) and pediatric advanced life support.

Key takeaways

  • Always start with the nine steps to resuscitation: ABC (airway, breathing, circulation), ABC, oxygen, access, monitoring.
  • Early BLS is important.
  • Congenital heart disease often presents with either cyanosis, hypoperfusion, failure to thrive, or respiratory distress.

Dr. Annemarie Tantoco

Dr. Tantoco is an academic med-peds hospitalist practicing at Northwestern Memorial Hospital and Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago. She is an instructor of medicine (hospital medicine) and pediatrics at Northwestern University, Chicago.

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