A 2012 American Heart Association statement concluded that children with CHD are at an increased risk for neurodevelopmental delays. Routine surveillance and evaluation throughout childhood are recommended. To assess paediatric cardiologist compliance with American Heart Association guidelines and developmental referral practices, a survey was distributed to paediatric cardiologists nationwide (n = 129). The majority of participants (69%) stated they were somewhat familiar or not familiar with the American Heart Association statement and were concerned about patients not being properly referred to specialists for developmental evaluation. Forty paediatric cardiologists (31%) indicated that their institution did not have a neurodevelopmental cardiology programme. Of these, 25% indicated they generally did not refer CHD patients for neurodevelopmental evaluation, 45% performed surveillance and referred if warranted, and 30% generally referred all patients for surveillance. Lastly, 43% of paediatric cardiologists did not feel responsible for developmental surveillance, and 11% did not feel responsible for referrals. To ensure all children with CHD are appropriately screened and referred, paediatricians and cardiologists must work together to address differing impressions of accountability for surveillance and screening of children with CHD.
- American Heart Association
- neurodevelopmental outcomes