The National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) has issued full guidance to the NHS in England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland on endovascular closure of patent ductus arteriosus.
This procedure is used to repair the patent arterial duct.
The arterial duct is a normal fetal communicating vessel between the pulmonary artery and the aorta. It usually closes within the first few days of life. If it remains open (patent), blood continues to flow from the aorta to the pulmonary artery, which eventually damages the lungs.
Endovascular techniques for closing patent arterial ducts are minimally invasive procedures in which the device is passed into the duct under X-ray control through a large vein. Standard treatment involves open surgery.
This guidance represents the view of NICE, arrived at after careful consideration of the evidence available. When exercising their judgement, healthcare professionals are expected to take this guidance fully into account. However, the guidance does not override the individual responsibility of healthcare professionals to make decisions appropriate to the circumstances of the individual patient, in consultation with the patient and/or guardian or carer.
Commissioners and/or providers have a responsibility to implement the guidance, in their local context, in light of their duties to have due regard to the need to eliminate unlawful discrimination, advance equality of opportunity, and foster good relations. Nothing in this guidance should be interpreted in a way that would be inconsistent with compliance with those duties.
Commissioners and providers have a responsibility to promote an environmentally sustainable health and care system and should assess and reduce the environmental impact of implementing NICE recommendations wherever possible.