Frequently Asked Questions

How do you partner with parents?

During a hospital stay at Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital Stanford, you are shown how to interact with your baby safely, even during a critical illness, and how to establish a bond after surgery from our partner program—the Infant Development Specialty Program (IDSP), also called the High-Risk Infant Follow-Up (HRIF) Program. In the Cardiovascular Intensive Care Unit, we promote a calm setting for you and your child, encouraging sleep and healthy growth. In addition, we conduct neurodevelopmental activities with your child and help educate you on the best way to interact with your child for optimal development. After discharge—and after graduation from the IDSP—our program performs neurodevelopmental assessment periodically through the years at our outpatient clinics to help your child meet developmental milestones. During these sessions, we guide you in how to best support your child developmentally.

What are the complex congenital heart conditions that often require care from your program at Packard Children’s Hospital?

At Packard Children’s Hospital, the core of the Stanford Medicine Children’s Health network, we see children with cyanotic congenital heart disease or those who required open-heart surgery in the first year of life. Children with single ventricle physiology are followed separately in our hospital’s Single Ventricle Program (SVP). Examples of diagnoses of children referred to us include: interrupted aortic arch, pulmonary atresia/intact ventricular septum, total anomalous pulmonary venous circulation, transposition of the great arteries, tetralogy of Fallot, and Ebstein’s anomaly.

My child is in the Infant Development Specialty Program (or another hospital’s infant development program). How do you work with that program?

Once your child graduates from our Infant Development Specialty Program (IDSP) or a similar program, we pick up care from that point forward, ensuring continuity of care for your child’s development from birth to adolescence. Our dedicated nurse practitioner works closely with the IDSP team to provide continuity of care for IDSP graduates and assists with CNP (Cardiac Neurodevelopmental Program) clinic enrollment. We welcome you to talk to your IDSP care provider or cardiologist for more information.

My child is developing well and seems to be like any other child their age. Should I still seek care from your program?

In the same way that routine visits to the pediatrician and cardiologists are recommended when your child is healthy, we encourage you to bring your child for periodic evaluations, even when he or she seems to be developing well. By receiving regular care, support, and guidance early on and throughout childhood, you support your child to reach her or his potential and grow into a successful adult.