Our children's heart service (cardiology) deals with the diagnosis and treatment of all kinds of children's heart problems including:
The diagnosis of congenital heart disease is usually made by echocardiography (ultrasound of the heart). It allows the Cardiologist to view the structure and function of the heart muscle and valves. Echocardiography is painless and usually takes 30-60 minutes to perform. The scan involves applying a jelly like substance to the chest and placing a probe over the chest to access a ‘window’ to view the heart. Echocardiography is a very useful way of looking at the heart’s structure including the heart muscle, chambers and valves. Our excellent facilities allow diagnosis to be made in newborn babies.
The scan produces better pictures if the child is still. It can be helpful to ensure you have a book, tablet, PC or magazine to entertain them. A drink, a snack or a comforter can also help them to settle during the scan.
This is a paper recording of the electrical activity inside the heart. Sticky electrode pads attached to the skin on the chest, arms and legs record this activity. The test requires your child to be quite still, but doesn’t hurt and only takes a few minutes.
Sometimes it’s necessary to record the electrical activity of the heart for a longer period (usually 24-72 hours) using a small portable monitor. A Holter monitor is a noninvasive test. It is a portable electrocardiogram (ECG) that your child wears for 24 hours. It records how fast or slow the heart beats throughout the day and night while your child is playing, exercising and sleeping. It helps track symptoms such as dizziness, chest pain, fainting and fast heart rhythms or skipping beats (palpitations).
24-hour or even 48 hours ambulatory blood pressure monitoring is a method to continuously measure your child blood pressure over the period of a whole day. This allows the Cardiologist to assess your child blood pressure when your child are living his normal daily life and is a better reflection of child true blood pressure. It is therefore a very useful technique to make the diagnosis of hypertension (high blood pressure) in borderline cases or to assess the effectiveness of treatment.
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