Most children born with a congenital heart defect (CHD) survive; however, those who require intervention during the neonatal period are more susceptible to neurodevelopmental disabilities. Developmental care improves outcomes in premature infants, but little evidence addresses the impact on infants with CHD.

Elhoff and colleagues evaluated the use of developmental care rounds in their pediatric cardiac intensive care unit for a 2-year period. Their developmental care rounds comprise the following:

  • Families are included in developmental care rounds and are asked at the start how they have been able to interact/bond with their infant. This guides the discussion on the plan of care.

  • A weekly facilitator selects the patients to include in the rounds, on the basis of established criteria, and provides the family 24 hours’ notice.

  • The team includes various disciplines such as physical, occupational, and/or speech therapists, child life, social work or chaplain, bedside nurse, and the therapy leader....

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