The high standards set by the American Heart Association's committee for "Standards of Care for Patients with Congenital Heart Disease"1 are extremely timely because of the widespread feeling in the United States that a child with an operable malformation should have the condition corrected. There is also the feeling that, because there are many children with such defects, it is urgently necessary to operate promptly.
Although an ever-increasing number of malformations can be corrected by surgery, it does not mean that every child with a correctable malformation should have immediate surgery. Haste makes waste! In this instance, haste means needless loss of life. For many children, an operation is not urgent. It is wrong to say the child must have an operation or he will die. None of us is immortal, but there are many children with malformations of the heart which are entirely compatible with a long and
Taussig HB. FACTORS TO BE CONSIDERED IN SURGERY FOR CLOSURE OF VENTRICULAR SEPTAL DEFECTS. JAMA. 1960;173(8):914–915. doi:https://doi.org/10.1001/jama.1960.03020260054014
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