Objective: To review the salient aspects and latest advances in the management of the postoperative pediatric cardiac patient.
Data Source: A Medline-based literature source.
Conclusion: The practice of pediatric cardiac intensive care has evolved considerably over the last several years. These efforts are the result of a collaborative effort from all subspecialties involved in the care of pediatric patients with congenital heart disease. Discoveries and innovations that are representative of this effort include the extension of cerebral oximetry from the operating room into the critical care setting; mechanical circulatory devices designed for pediatric patients; and surgery in very low birth weight neonates. Advances such as these impact postoperative management and make the field of pediatric cardiac intensive care an exciting, demanding, and evolving discipline, necessitating the ongoing commitment of various disciplines to pursue a greater understanding of disease processes and how to best go about treating them.