Cardiology Archives - Nemours Blog

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Cardiology

When Your Child Complains of Chest Pain by Thomas Craig Edwards, MD | Promise, powered by Nemours Children's Health

When Your Child Has Chest Pain

When your child complains of chest pain, it’s natural to jump to heart-related conclusions. But most cases of chest pain in children aren’t caused by cardiac conditions. It can sometimes be hard to get a clear description of your child’s chest pain, but symptoms usually include: Tightness. Discomfort. Burning sensation. Pain when taking deep breaths. Coughing. Wheezing. So what should you do? Make an appointment with your child’s primary care physician, and keep in mind that chest pain in children is usually not heart-related. Chest pain can often be attributed to one or more of the following: Gastroesophogeal reflux disease, or ongoing heartburn Pain or inflammation in the chest wall Asthma Pneumonia Stress or anxiety Injury Viral illness Heading to the hospital is absolutely necessary in some situations. Seek emergency care if: Exercise brings about chest pain, or makes it worse. Chest pain occurs with rapid or irregular heartbeat. Fainting or […]

Chest Pain in Teens: When to Worry

Chest Pain in Teens: When to Worry

Few things can cause a parent’s heart to stand still like having a teenage child complain of chest pain. Unfortunately, it’s a common complaint. According to national data from 2016, people aged 15 to 24 years comprise 14.2% of all emergency room visits and chest pain is one of the top diagnoses. Causes of Chest Pain Many people have experienced chest pain, and a variety of words are used to describe it, ranging from dull to squeezing. There are equally as many causes, the most serious of which usually involve the heart or lungs. Luckily, in teenagers, the most serious are not the most likely. Frequently, the cause of chest pain in teens is chest wall pain. The chest wall includes the skin, fat, muscles, and bones that form a protective structure around the heart, major blood vessels, lungs, and esophagus. The bones in the chest wall include the ribs, sternum (breastbone), […]

Heart Murmurs in Kids: They’re Common and Usually Harmless, by Steven Ritz, MD | Promise, Powered by Nemours Children's Health System

Heart Murmurs in Kids: They’re Common and Usually Harmless

You might worry if you’re told your child has a heart murmur. But lots of kids are found to have heart murmurs at some point. And most won’t affect a child’s health at all. So What Is a Heart Murmur? The term “heart murmur” isn’t a diagnosis of an illness or disorder. The doctor might hear an extra sound in addition to the “lub-dub” we recognize as the heartbeat. A heart murmur is an abnormal sound (like a blowing or whooshing) that’s usually detected by a doctor who’s listening to the heart with a stethoscope during a routine examination. What’s an “Innocent” Heart Murmur? The most common type of heart murmur is an “innocent murmur” (also called a “benign” or “functional” murmur). This type of murmur is harmless. An innocent heart murmur is the sound of blood moving through a normal, healthy heart in a normal way. Just as you might hear air moving through an […]

Sudden cardiac arrest and teenage athletes | Steven Fishberger, MD | Promise: Powered by Nemours Children's Health System

Sudden Cardiac Arrest and Teenage Athletes: What’s the Risk?

Sudden cardiac arrest is nothing new, but it still gets plenty of attention when it affects a young athlete—usually because it’s so rare, unexpected and tragic. We’re all familiar with the stories of seemingly healthy teenagers collapsing on the field or court and succumbing to cardiac arrest. It’s estimated that between 6,000 and 8,000 young people experience sudden cardiac arrest (or SCA) each year, and only about one in 10 survive. The exact causes of SCA vary widely. Abnormalities in the heart or genetic conditions are often to blame, though there are times in which a definite cause is never found. In all cases, something causes the heart to unexpectedly beat out of control or stop beating altogether. Sudden cardiac arrest is so dangerous because it’s so hard to predict. But if the symptoms are recognized immediately, lives can be saved. Symptoms of SCA include: Collapse Lack of pulse No […]

Meet Emmy: An Atrial Septal Defect Success Story | Promise: Powered by Nemours Children's Health System

Meet Emmy: An Atrial Septal Defect Success Story

When Jill’s third child, Emmy, was born with a hole in her heart, Jill wasn’t too worried. Her two older sons also had the condition—called Atrial Septal Defect (ASD)—and theirs had cleared up over time. In children with ASD, blood recirculates inside the heart, and doesn’t reach the rest of the body as well as it should. Dr. Mary Mehta, Pediatric Cardiologist at Nemours Children’s Specialty Care, Pensacola, worked with the family to track Emmy’s condition. It didn’t improve, and it soon became clear that Emmy would need complex and invasive surgery to repair the hole in her heart. When Emmy was just three years old, the right side of her heart began to enlarge, presenting more risks: asthma-like symptoms and other coronary issues.  It was time to prepare for open heart surgery. Emmy’s family met with Dr. Peter Wearden, Cardiothoracic Surgeon at the Nemours Cardiac Center at Nemours Children’s Hospital […]

4 Tips to Keep Kids Heart Healthy from the experts at Nemours Children's Health System

4 Tips to Keep Kids Heart Healthy

February is Heart Month, a time when we traditionally hear many messages about adults at risk for heart disease. Now it’s time to focus this message toward kids, as medical research has shown that cardiovascular disease has its roots in childhood. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), one in five U.S. teens have abnormal cholesterol. This means either their good cholesterol (HDL) is too low or their bad cholesterol (LDL and triglycerides) is too high. As a parent, you may not be thinking about what cholesterol means for your kids. But with the dramatic increase in childhood obesity, more and more kids are at risk. Obesity can not only cause abnormal cholesterol, it can lead to increased risk of heart disease, diabetes, high blood pressure and stroke. So, here are four steps you can start taking — today — to help keep your kids’ hearts healthier […]

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