Premature Infant Follow-up - Advances in the medical care for children who are born prematurely and/or of low birth weight have lowered the incidence of death and severe mental and physical impairments. These advances have brought rise to understanding less severe forms of long term consequences of prematurity and low birth weight including school age outcomes. The Education and Child development and Developmental Pediatrics Departments collaboratively examine the educational, temperamental, and behavioral outcomes of children who required specialized Neonatal Intensive Care Units (NICU) services as infants and are now school age. Results from these studies fill in the gaps in the current literature and allow for better preventative services offered by neonatologists and psychologists working with these children.
Effects of Infant Cardiac Surgery - There has been significant progress in the care for infants with congenital heart disease in recent years. Thus, longer follow-up periods to address neurodevelopmental needs, such as learning, behavior, attention, and social competence, into later childhood is warranted. The Munroe-Meyer Institute at the University of Nebraska Medical Center has initiated a cardiovascular follow-up clinic to evaluate and study preschool and school-age children who have undergone surgery for complex congenital heart disease. The purpose of this clinic is to further examine developmental outcomes in children with complex congenital heart disease who have undergone corrective surgery. Specifically, neurodevelopmental outcomes are examined longitudinally to further explore the impact of surgical intervention on outcomes for this population at significant risk for developmental disabilities during early and late elementary school. This research will help to address the needs of this population throughout childhood and will facilitate the early identification of developmental impairments so that therapeutic interventions may be initiated to maximize the functional potential of these children.