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Paediatric Murmurs: Ari Horton at DFTB18


Ari Horton is many things – an advocate for kindness, a Cordon Bleu trained pastry chef and, just very occasionally, a paediatric cardiologist. Andrew Tagg remembers the day Ari found his calling. Working as a paediatric ED resident in Melbourne’s inner west he came to present a patient. He could barely sit still and his grin threatened to infect the fishbowl as he announced, “I found a murmur!”

We may not all be as acoustically gifted as Ari but that thing we wield around our necks is not just for listening for wheezes or for distracting toddlers.

At 3:30am in emergency overnight,
You got a seriously worrisome fright.
That harsh sound whooshing through the chest,
Try hide your concern, you say “It’s for the best”.
Is it innocent or the beginning of the end,
Go back to the basics they’re your best friend.

Horton’s distraught, his heart is fraught.
Stress fills his tired mind, luckily he left his steth behind.
Numbers and statistics running through his head,
But he stood still watching the child from the end of his bed.
By 9am poor old Horton, more dead than alive,
Had picked, searched and listened to more than 9005

Examination is a dynamic process they say,
Watching the kid run this and that way.
See them feed, sleep, run, jump and cry,
Do some special tests before you say goodbye.
A person’s a person no matter how small

It’s the real story that captures us all.
A murmur’s just a murmur no matter how loud
I’ve learnt my lessons and I’m so proud.
This child is healthy and safe because we cared
Cardiac fellowship awaits because I dared.

Horton Hears A What? Ari Horton (2018)




Here is a little sketchnote by @gracie_leo of the talk:


This talk was recorded live at DFTB18 in Melbourne, Australia. With the theme of ‘Science and Story‘ we pushed our speakers to step out of their comfort zones and consider why we do what we do. Caring for children is not just about acquiring the scientific knowhow but also about taking a look beyond a diagnosis or clinical conundrum at the patient and their families.

DFTB19 has just a handful of main conference tickets left but there are still spots for some of the pre-conference workshops.


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