When a child has a heart condition, it is usually something he or she was born with and is called a congenital heart defect. This occurs when the heart didn't develop normally or completely in the earliest weeks of pregnancy.
In general, the sooner your child is diagnosed and treated for a significant heart condition, the better. A pediatric cardiologist is specially trained in the diagnosis and treatment of abnormalities of the heart and blood vessels in children and teens.
At Jefferson, you have access to expert pediatric cardiologists from Nemours/Alfred I. duPont Hospital for Children in Center City Philadelphia. Nemours pediatric cardiologists work with a highly skilled team of physicians, surgeons, anesthesiologists, nurses, physician's assistants and ancillary staff to provide comprehensive, compassionate care for your infant, child or teen.
Diagnosing & Treating Heart Conditions in Children
Nemours pediatric cardiologists use the most advanced technology to diagnose and treat children of all ages with pediatric heart disease, from the mild to the extremely complex. During an initial consultation, your child will be evaluated for common complaints including heart murmurs, palpitations, chest pain, fast heartbeats, fainting and cyanosis (blue coloration).
Based on the evaluation, we may order some or all of the following tests to diagnose your child's condition:
- Chest X-ray
After the test results are reviewed, our pediatric cardiologists will offer the most effective treatment options for your child, whether it's medication, specialized remote monitoring at home or surgery.
Fetal Diagnostic Cardiology Services & Consultations for Expectant Parents
If you're pregnant and your physician suspects your baby has a possible heart problem, our Philadelphia office also offers fetal diagnostic cardiology services and consultations for expectant parents.
Starting with your 18th week of pregnancy, our specialists can perform a fetal echocardiogram to view the structure, function and rhythm of your baby's heart. If we detect a heart defect, our team will help you understand your baby's condition, coordinate consultations and plan for any necessary treatment at or soon after your baby's birth.