Infants with single ventricle congenital heart disease often experience difficulties with eating, placing them at risk for growth problems and greater morbidity and mortality. School of Nursing doctoral student Britt Pados is conducting a study to determine whether a particular feeding strategy will improve infant development.
In her study, titled “Feeding of Infants with Single Ventricle Heart Disease: Physiology and Behavior, Pados will study seven infants, observing how they react to three different feeding
methods — breastfeeding, bottle-feeding with a standard-flow nipple and bottle-feeding with a slow-flow nipple. The study has two aims: to examine heart rate and oxygen saturation changes and observe indicators of distress caused by each feeding method and to explore how heart rate variability affects the ability to understand physiological states before, during and after feeding.
The study, supported by a nearly $100,000, three-year Nurse Research Service Award from the National Institute of Nursing Research, National Institutes of Health, is intended to improve quality of life for the patients and help identify the most appropriate feeding strategies for infants with single ventricle congenital heart disease to achieve better growth and avoid complications.