Document Type

Case Report


Physical Therapy & Rehabilitation Science

Degree Name

DPT (Doctor of Physical Therapy)

Session and Year of Graduation

Fall 2018


Laura Frey Law


Background: Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome (HLHS) is a congenital heart defect where the left side of the heart is underdeveloped. Children born with HLHS often spend a significant amount of time in neonatal and pediatric intensive care units (NICU and PICU) at the beginning of their lives. This early time is also a very critical time for brain development as well as development of a strong parent-child bond. The PICU environment and medical instability of the infant disrupt this bonding and development. Purpose: The purpose of this case study is to present the outcomes of a child with HLHS having undergone multiple procedures and medical complications with a strong parent-child bond. Case Description: The child was a 6 month old male born with HLHS. He has been in the NICU and then PICU for his entire life undergoing various cardiac procedures and recovering from them requiring intubation and VA ECMO among other medical interventions. Intervention: This infant was receiving services from physical, occupational, speech/feeding, and respiratory therapy as well as child life on top of his cares from nursing. In addition to these specialties, this child was able to develop a strong parent-child bond as his parents were able to spend a majority of their time in the PICU. Outcome Measures: The Bayley Scales of Infant Development, Third Edition was used to assess the child’s development in different categories compared to general population norms. His overall General Adaptive Composite Score was 75 indicating that he is borderline developmentally delayed. Discussion: This case highlights the perceived value of a strong parent-child bond in the outcomes of a medically fragile infant with HLHS in the PICU. In addition, this case study promotes the role of physical therapy in the care and management of this patient population.


Hypoplastic left heart syndrome; congenital heart defect; pediatrics; intensive care unit; physical therapy; rehabilitation


8 pages


Copyright © 2018 Lauren Cass