Improving pediatric cardiac surgical care in developing countries: Matching resources to needs

Joseph A. Dearani, Rodolfo Neirotti, Emily J. Kohnke, Kingshuk K. Sinha, Allison K. Cabalka, Roxann D. Barnes, Jeffrey P. Jacobs, Giovanni Stellin, Christo I. Tchervenkov, John C. Cushing

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

38 Scopus citations


This article reviews a systematic approach to the design and support of pediatric cardiac surgery programs in the developing world with the guidance and strategies of Children's HeartLink, an experienced non-government organization for more than 40 years. An algorithm with criteria for the selection of a partner site is outlined. A comprehensive education strategy from the physician to the allied health care provider is the mainstay for successful program development. In a partner program, the road to successful advancement and change depends on many factors, such as government support, hospital administration support, medical staff leadership, and a committed and motivated faculty with requisite skills, incentives, and resources. In addition to these factors, it is essential that the development effort includes considerations of environment (eg, governmental support, regulatory environment, and social structure) and health system (elements related to affordability, access, and awareness of care) that impact success. Partner programs should be willing to initiate a clinical database with the intent to analyze and critique their results to optimize quality assurance and improve outcomes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)35-43
Number of pages9
JournalSeminars in Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery: Pediatric Cardiac Surgery Annual
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2010

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Surgery
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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