The care of children with hypoplastic left heart syndrome is constantly evolving. Prenatal diagnosis of hypoplastic left heart syndrome will aid in counselling of parents, and selected fetuses may be candidates for in utero intervention. Following birth, palliation can be undertaken through staged operations: Norwood (or hybrid) in the 1st week of life, superior cavopulmonary connection at 4–6 months of life, and finally total cavopulmonary connection (Fontan) at 2–4 years of age. Children with hypoplastic left heart syndrome are at risk of circulatory failure their entire life, and selected patients may undergo heart transplantation. In this review article, we summarise recent advances in the critical care management of patients with hypoplastic left heart syndrome as were discussed in a focused session at the 12th International Conference of the Paediatric Cardiac Intensive Care Society held on 9 December, 2016, in Miami Beach, Florida.