Risk Factors for Gross Motor Dysfunction in Infants With Congenital Heart Disease

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Infants with congenital heart disease (CHD) that is severe enough to require early surgery are at risk for cognitive and motor delays, as well as musculoskeletal impairments, and are best managed by an interdisciplinary team during their hospital stay and after discharge. The purpose of this article is to review some of the risk factors associated specifically with motor delays and musculoskeletal impairments in infants with CHD. These concerns are then embedded into 2 clinical case examples of infants with CHD who required surgery. Following a description of each infant's hospital course, we describe the members and roles of an appropriate early intervention team. Then, in conjunction with the parents' priorities and concerns, and the results of developmental motor assessments, we develop individualized physical therapy outcomes, in keeping with an Individualized Family Service Plan. The role and importance of an interdisciplinary team perspective is highlighted in these case examples, as is the transactional model of development.

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