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Infants and children born with CHD are at significant risk for neurodevelopmental delays and abnormalities. Individualised developmental care is widely recognised as best practice to support early neurodevelopment for medically fragile infants born premature or requiring surgical intervention after birth. However, wide variability in clinical practice is consistently demonstrated in units caring for infants with CHD. The Cardiac Newborn Neuroprotective Network, a Special Interest Group of the Cardiac Neurodevelopmental Outcome Collaborative, formed a working group of experts to create an evidence-based developmental care pathway to guide clinical practice in hospital settings caring for infants with CHD. The clinical pathway, “Developmental Care Pathway for Hospitalized Infants with Congenital Heart Disease,” includes recommendations for standardised developmental assessment, parent mental health screening, and the implementation of a daily developmental care bundle, which incorporates individualised assessments and interventions tailored to meet the needs of this unique infant population and their families. Hospitals caring for infants with CHD are encouraged to adopt this developmental care pathway and track metrics and outcomes using a quality improvement framework.
Congenital heart disease (CHD) is the most common birth defect for infants born in the United States, with approximately 36,000 affected infants born annually. While mortality rates for children with CHD have significantly declined, there is a growing population of individuals with CHD living into adulthood prompting the need to optimise long-term development and quality of life. For infants with CHD, pre- and post-surgery, there is an increased risk of developmental challenges and feeding difficulties. Feeding challenges carry profound implications for the quality of life for individuals with CHD and their families as they impact short- and long-term neurodevelopment related to growth and nutrition, sensory regulation, and social-emotional bonding with parents and other caregivers. Oral feeding challenges in children with CHD are often the result of medical complications, delayed transition to oral feeding, reduced stamina, oral feeding refusal, developmental delay, and consequences of the overwhelming intensive care unit (ICU) environment. This article aims to characterise the disruptions in feeding development for infants with CHD and describe neurodevelopmental factors that may contribute to short- and long-term oral feeding difficulties.
Ultrasound applications are widespread, and their utility in resource-limited environments are numerous. In disasters, the use of ultrasound can help reallocate resources by guiding decisions on management and transportation priorities. These interventions can occur on-scene, at triage collection points, during transport, and at the receiving medical facility. Literature related to this specific topic is limited. However, literature regarding prehospital use of ultrasound, ultrasound in combat situations, and some articles specific to disaster medicine allude to the potential growth of ultrasound utilization in disaster response.
To evaluate the utility of point-of-care ultrasound in a disaster response based on studies involving ultrasonography in resource-limited environments.
A narrative review of MEDLINE, MEDLINE InProcess, EPub, and Embase found 20 articles for inclusion.
Experiences from past disasters, prehospital care, and combat experiences have demonstrated the value of ultrasound both as a diagnostic and interventional modality.
Current literature supports the use of ultrasound in disaster response as a real-time, portable, safe, reliable, repeatable, easy-to-use, and accurate tool. While both false positives and false negatives were reported in prehospital studies, these values correlate to accepted false positive and negative rates of standard in-hospital point-of-care ultrasound exams. Studies involving austere environments demonstrate the ability to apply ultrasound in extreme conditions and to obtain high-quality images with only modest training and real-time remote guidance. The potential for point-of-care ultrasound in triage and management of mass casualty incidents is there. However, as these studies are heterogeneous and observational in nature, further research is needed as to how to integrate ultrasound into the response and recovery phases.