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June 7, 2010

Transition to Adult Care for Survivors of Serious Childhood Illnesses and Disabilities

Arch Pediatr Adolesc Med. 2010;164(6):581-582. doi:10.1001/archpediatrics.2010.77

For youth with special health care needs (YSHCN), the transition to adulthood frequently involves gaps in health care continuity, health insurance, and social services.1 As McDonnell and colleagues2 describe in this issue, adult survivors of serious, chronic pediatric disorders continue to have complex health care needs. These patients should have a primary care physician who is trained and experienced in treating adults but is also familiar with the types of chronic disorders that are prevalent among YSHCN.3,4 Unfortunately, systems to transition YSHCN to adult providers are not well developed. As a result, as the study in this issue indicates, adults continue to use health care services designed for children, often on an emergency basis.

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