Stable Program Lead Instructors

Cardiac Module Course Offerings

Cardiac Module presentations involving S.T.A.B.L.E. National Faculty (usually in conjunction with a National Conference), will be listed here. These presentations are for anyone interested in learning more about the assessment and stabilization of neonates with severe congenital heart diseases. Although these courses are not specifically intended for instructor preparation, they may be very helpful for future instructors of the Cardiac module.

University Guest House and Conference Center, Salt Lake City, Utah
Kris A. Karlsen, PhD, NNP-BC

Author, S.T.A.B.L.E. -- Cardiac Module

June 11, 2015
October 1, 2015

Includes breakfast, lunch, afternoon snack, & Cardiac Module handbook. All sessions are the third day offering at a S.T.A.B.L.E. National Instructor Course and are open to any interested participant. Instructor Course attendance is not required to attend these sessions.

Course description & agenda
More information or to register

S.T.A.B.L.E. – Cardiac Module: Recognition and Stabilization of neonates with severe CHD.

By Kristine A. Karlsen, PhD, NNP-BC with cardiology technical advisor Lloyd Y. Tani MD (2003).

1st place winner in the 2004 American Medical Writers Association Book Competition!

The S.T.A.B.L.E. - Cardiac Module provides general guidelines for the assessment and stabilization of neonates with suspected congenital heart disease (CHD). Prompt, effective, and appropriate care of neonates with severe CHD can reduce secondary organ damage, improve short and long-term outcomes, and reduce morbidity and mortality. This information is presented in a highly visual format and divided into three sections. The first section of the module reviews the physical exam of neonates with suspected CHD. The second section details the anatomic features, clinical presentation and initial stabilization of neonates with CHD, and emphasizes differentiation of cardiac from pulmonary disease. Specific heart lesions are covered in detail including those that are cyanotic ductal dependent, cyanotic not-ductal dependent, and left outflow tract obstructed ductal dependent lesions. The final section discusses modifications to the six S.T.A.B.L.E. assessment components that are necessary when caring for neonates with suspected or confirmed CHD.

In completing this module, the learner will gain an increased understanding of the following concepts:

  1. The physical assessment and differential diagnosis of neonates with suspected congenital heart disease (CHD);
  2. The anatomic features, clinical presentation, and initial stabilization of neonates with CHD.
  3. The modifications in the S.T.A.B.L.E. guidelines that are necessary when caring for neonates with CHD.

Course Outline


  1. Physical examination and patient assessment for CHD (includes treatment of SVT, assessment of heart sounds and murmurs);
  2. Differential diagnosis for CHD.


  1. Cyanotic CHD – Not ductal dependent Tetralogy of Fallot* Truncus arteriosus Total anomalous pulmonary venous return (TAPVR) Ebstein’s anomaly*

*Extreme forms may be ductal dependent

  1. Cyanotic CHD – ductal dependent for pulmonary blood flow
    The ductus arteriosus – right-to-left and left-to-right shunting
    Prostaglandin E1
    - Indications, Dose, Side Effects, Administration Guidelines Transposition of the great arteries (TGA) Tricuspid atresia Pulmonary atresia (w/intact ventricular septum) Tetralogy with severe PS or atresia Severe Ebstein’s

        3.    Left Outflow Tract Obstructive Lesions - ductal-dependent for systemic blood flow
     Coarctation of the aorta
     Critical aortic stenosis
     Interrupted aortic arch
     Hypoplastic left heart syndrome

Sugar - Temperature - Airway – Blood Pressure - Lab Work - Emotional Support Mnemonic-based assessment and care of neonates with suspected or confirmed severe CHD.

Commonly Asked Questions and Answers

Q: Who should take this module?
A: Any neonatal or pediatric healthcare provider (physicians, nurses, respiratory therapists) who must identify and care for neonates or infants with congenital heart disease.

Q: Should the S.T.A.B.L.E. Learner course be taken first?
A: Although it is recommended that students take the learner course prior to this module, it is not mandatory. We recognize that many pediatric healthcare providers may not have participated in the S.T.A.B.L.E. learner program, yet our expert reviewers felt the Cardiac module would still be very valuable for those caregivers.

Q: How is the module presented?
A: As with the S.T.A.B.L.E. Learner course, it is recommended that an expert in neonatal or pediatric (cardiac) care present this material. An animated CD-ROM guides the instructor through the material, while the 125-page full-color manual serves as the student handbook. Some of the material overlaps with the S.T.A.B.L.E. learner course, therefore, it may be best to wait a few months before teaching the cardiac module. This module is not intended for "same day" presentation with the S.T.A.B.L.E. Learner course. There are no pre or post-tests for the Cardiac Module course.

Q: How long does it take to teach the module?
A: This didactic/interactive module is presented in 4 to 8 hours, depending on the student’s expertise. If given in 4 hours (excluding breaks), allow 1 hour for the Part 1 - Physical Exam; 2 to 2.5 hours for Part 2 - CHD lesions; and 0.5 to 1 hour for Part 3 - S.T.A.B.L.E. modifications. It is strongly recommended that students read the manual prior to the course.

Q: Do I need to attend a S.T.A.B.L.E.-Sponsored Cardiac Module presentation in order to teach this module?
A: No. The most important consideration is that you are an expert in this area. If you are comfortable with teaching concepts of neonatal congenital heart disease, this module should be relatively easy for you to teach. There is no instructor manual for this module.