Transposition of the Great Arteries (Vessels) | Congenital Heart Defects Nursing NCLEX Pediatrics

Transposition of the great arteries (vessels) nursing NCLEX congenital heart disease defect review of the pathophysiology, nursing interventions, and treatment (TGA, TGV).

What is transposition of the great arteries (vessels)? It’s a congenital heart defect where the pulmonary artery and aorta are in SWITCHED positions. Therefore, the aorta is coming out of the right side of the heart, which is causing the right side of the heart to participant in systemic circulation. The pulmonary artery is coming out of the left side of the heart, and this is causing the left side of the heart to participant in pulmonary circulation.

Due to this switching of the great arteries, the two sides of the heart no longer work together. This causes the body to experience severe cyanosis (a bluish color to the skin from low oxygen levels).

It’s a critical congenital heart defect that requires immediate medical intervention after birth and surgery within the first month of life. According to, 1 on 3,330 babies are born with this condition each year in the United States.

Nursing interventions for transposition of the great arteries include: monitoring heart rate/rhythm, oxygen saturation, assess for signs of TGA, administering prostaglandin E to maintain a patent ductus arteriosus and prepare for medical intervention.

Procedures or surgery for transposition of the great arteries include balloon atrial septostomy and arterial switch procedure.



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Transposition of the great arteries (TGA) is a congenital heart defect in which the two main arteries that carry blood away from the heart, the aorta and pulmonary artery, are switched. In a normal heart, the left ventricle pumps oxygen-rich blood through the aorta to the body, while the right ventricle pumps oxygen-poor blood through the pulmonary artery to the lungs. However, in TGA, the aorta arises from the right ventricle and the pulmonary artery arises from the left ventricle, leading to a lack of oxygenated blood flowing to the body.

TGA can be diagnosed before birth or shortly after, and treatment often requires surgery within the first few weeks of life. Nursing care for infants with TGA involves monitoring vital signs, administering medications, providing respiratory support, and ensuring adequate nutrition. Additionally, nurses play a crucial role in educating parents about the condition and preparing them for the postoperative period.

The NCLEX exam for pediatric nursing may include questions on TGA, including assessment, diagnosis, treatment, and nursing interventions. Nurses who care for children with congenital heart defects must have a strong understanding of the pathophysiology of TGA and the implications for nursing care. With appropriate management, children with TGA can lead healthy and active lives.


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