Feasibility of a Team Approach to Complex Congenital Heart Defect Neurodevelopmental Follow-Up: Early Experience of a Combined Cardiology/Neonatal Intensive Care Unit Follow-Up Program

    loading  Checking for direct PDF access through Ovid

Abstract

Infants with complex congenital heart disease are at high risk for poor neurodevelopmental outcomes. However, implementation of dedicated congenital heart disease follow-up programs presents important infrastructure, personnel, and resource challenges. We present the development, implementation, and retrospective review of 1- and 2-year outcomes of a Complex Congenital Heart Defect Neurodevelopmental Follow-Up program. This program was a synergistic approach between the Pediatric Cardiology, Cardiothoracic Surgery, Pediatric Intensive Care, and Neonatal Intensive Care Unit Follow-Up teams to provide a feasible and responsible utilization of existing infrastructure and personnel, to develop and implement a program dedicated to children with congenital heart disease. Trained developmental testers administered the Ages and Stages Questionnaire-3 over the phone to the parents of all referred children at least once between 6 and 12 months’ corrected age. At 18 months’ corrected age, all children were scheduled in the Neonatal Intensive-Care Unit Follow-Up Clinic for a visit with standardized neurological exams, Bayley III, multidisciplinary therapy evaluations and continued follow-up. Of the 132 patients identified in the Cardiothoracic Surgery database and at discharge from the hospital, a total number of 106 infants were reviewed. A genetic syndrome was identified in 23.4% of the population. Neuroimaging abnormalities were identified in 21.7% of the cohort with 12.8% having visibly severe insults. As a result, 23 (26.7%) received first-time referrals for early intervention services, 16 (13.8%) received referrals for new services in addition to their existing ones. We concluded that utilization of existing resources in collaboration with established programs can ensure targeted neurodevelopmental follow-up for all children with complex congenital heart disease.

Related Topics

    loading  Loading Related Articles