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A first qualitative snapshot: cardiac surgery and recovery in 10 children in the Red Cross War Memorial Children’s Hospital, Cape Town, South Africa (2011–2016)

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  23 November 2017

Lauraine Vivian
Affiliation:
School of Child and Adolescent Health, Health Sciences Faculty, University of Cape Town, Cape Town, South Africa
George Comitis
Affiliation:
School of Child and Adolescent Health, Health Sciences Faculty, University of Cape Town, Cape Town, South Africa
Claudia Naidu
Affiliation:
Primary Health Care Directorate, Health Sciences Faculty, University of Cape Town, Cape Town, South Africa
Cynthia Hunter
Affiliation:
Faculty of Medicine, University of Sydney, Camperdown, Australia
John Lawrenson
Affiliation:
Department of Paediatrics and Child Health, Stellenbosch University, Cape Town, South Africa
Corresponding
E-mail address:

Abstract

This article describes our qualitative research on the follow-up of 10 children, 5 years into recovery after cardiac surgery. The research was driven by a multi-disciplinary team of medical anthropologists, cardiologists, and an intensive care specialist and was based at the Red Cross War Memorial Children’s Hospital where they underwent surgeries. The research sought to answer two questions; first, could we successfully maintain contact with and follow up the children; the second – which will be answered in future papers – asked what life was like for them and their families during surgery and later recovery. The results are presented as a discussion on the themes that arose in our engagement and analysis and not as clinical evidence. These showed that elective surgery although significantly delayed was successful, and all children were followed up at their medical appointments. The researchers, however, were unable to establish follow-up with all families over the duration of the study. In the final round of interviews in the respondents’ homes, of 10 children, we remained in contact with seven. The discussion argues that effective communication and access to these children was often compromised by their coming from the poorer communities in the Cape Town metropolitan region, making them even more vulnerable during their recovery periods.

Type
Original Articles
Copyright
© Cambridge University Press 2017 

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A first qualitative snapshot: cardiac surgery and recovery in 10 children in the Red Cross War Memorial Children’s Hospital, Cape Town, South Africa (2011–2016)
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