Our job is to thoroughly evaluate your child’s heart to determine if a problem exists or not.
It is our hope that all of your questions will be answered after your visit. However, as it is difficult for you to think of everything at the time your child is seen, we hope this information will help answer some of these questions.
Your child’s heart evaluation consists of discussing the history of the possible problem and a thorough cardiac physical exam including blood pressure measurement, regardless of age, in both the arms and the legs. An EKG is usually done prior to seeing the doctor.
Following the history and exam, an Echocardiogram (ultrasound) exam of the heart may be recommended. We do this test in our office, performed personally by the physician and results are immediate.
If a normal murmur is found, no treatment is needed.
Should a problem be detected, our physician will discuss the recommendations in detail.
Occasionally, heart medications and/or surgery will be needed. Your pediatric cardiologist will discuss these options with you if they are necessary.
For minor problems, no therapy is usually needed.
Even for minor problems, we often recommend something called SBE prophylaxis. The treatment consists of giving antibiotics just prior to the procedures, such as dental work. The reason being, bacteria can enter the blood stream during dental work and could infect the heart, should a heart problem exist. Antibiotics reduce the chance bacteria will infect the heart. Usually the dentist will prescribe these antibiotics. If any questions come up about when to use antibiotics prior to other procedures, check with your child’s pediatrician or family doctor. NOTE: The medication is not needed for a normal murmur.
Almost all children with a heart condition will need follow-up in our office. The progress or improvement of the condition is evaluated at each visit. Additionally, follow-up tests may be necessary.
If a normal murmur is found upon exam, then no further follow-up with our offices is necessary and the child should be treated normally with respect to the heart. That means no restrictions will be necessary and there is no reason to think your child will have a heart condition in the future.
Contact with Your Personal Family Physician
Your child’s personal physician will be contacted by one of our cardiologists following every office consultation and at the conclusion of any hospitalization.
The follow-up will include a complete review of your evaluation along with a detailed summary of your treatment and any future recommendations to be followed after leaving our care.
In the event of any major diagnostic studies or treatment such as catheterization, we will contact your child’s physician by telephone, letter or both. When you leave our office or hospital, a written communication will be on its way to the pediatrician or family doctor as soon as possible.
Quality care is dependent on good communication. Therefore, we encourage you to always bring in information concerning your child’s care and tests performed by other physicians.