For those of you who provide support to a pediatric cardiovascular intensive care unit, I wanted share this insightful article on outcomes for this unique and special population. It reinforces the breadth of services that as SLPs we can provide and the critical nature of our broad assessment post-op and careful follow-up. I hope it informs your practice as much as it has mine. A fascinating read. Please share it with your cardiologists.
Excerpt: “The risk factors for poor outcome include type of CHD; presence of genetic conditions; fetal and neonatal neuroimaging abnormalities; pre-, peri-, and postoperative factors associated with hypoxia and hemodynamic instability; prematurity; male sex; and family socioeconomic status and resilience. In utero, CHD may aﬀect cerebral blood flow and oxygenation with resultant slower brain growth, delayed brain maturation, and white matter vulnerability. Pre- and peri-operative instability may cause brain injury, such as white matter injury, microhemorrhages, and stroke. Operative factors, such as deep hypothermic cardiac arrest and cardiopulmonary bypass, played a minor role in determining long-term outcomes. Postoperatively, prolonged hospital stay and severity of illness were predictors of worse outcome.”
I hope this is helpful.