Babies who have had open-heart surgery, especially those with complex, congenital heart defects (CCHDs), are at much greater risk for brain injury or learning disabilities. Because of the heart defects themselves, and because of the complicated circulation involved with CCHDs, infants are more at risk for strokes. Infants who have had strokes often have brain injury due to stroke and those children with brain injuries caused in early childhood are more at risk for learning disabilities.
While this sounds very frightening, it doesn’t have to mean that your child’s quality of life will be greatly inferior to a child without a heart defect. Today’s show features a heart mom whose child had an anoxic brain injury (which is fairly uncommon), a pediatric cardiologist and pediatric neurologist from Boston Children’s Hospital, and a special education advocate. These expert Guests share information to help others navigate raising a child with a brain injury and/or learning disability.