Supporting Optimal Neurodevelopmental Outcomes in Infants and Children With Congenital Heart Disease

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Abstract

Improved survival has led to increased recognition of developmental delays in infants and children with congenital heart disease. Risk factors for developmental delays in congenital heart disease survivors may not be modifiable; therefore, it is important that lifesaving, high-technology critical care interventions be combined with nursing interventions that are also developmentally supportive. Implementing developmental care in a pediatric cardiac intensive care unit requires change implementation strategies and widespread support from all levels of health care professionals. This manuscript reviews developmentally supportive interventions such as massage, developmentally supportive positioning, kangaroo care, cue-based feeding, effective pain/anxiety management, and procedural preparation and identifies strategies to implement developmentally supportive interventions in the care of infants and children with congenital heart disease. Improving developmental support for these infants and children at high risk for developmental delay may improve their outcomes and help promote family-centered care. (Critical Care Nurse. 2018;38[3]:68-74)

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