Heart conditions in children encompass a range of congenital and acquired issues affecting the heart’s structure and function. These conditions can pose significant challenges, from congenital heart defects to rhythm abnormalities. Prompt diagnosis, specialised care, and often surgeries are required to manage these conditions. Advances in paediatric cardiology offer hope, enabling children to lead fulfilling lives. Regular medical check-ups and awareness are vital in ensuring early detection and effective management of heart conditions in young individuals.
Types of Heart Conditions in Children
Mentioned below are some of the Common Heart Conditions in Children that can be identified with the help of different signs and can be treated by using other methods:
- Congenital Heart Disease (CHD) is a term used to define a child born with different types of heart defects. The disease involves different kinds of heart issues, such as heart valve disorders, hypoplastic left heart syndrome, ventricular septal defects, atrial septal defects, and many other similar health issues.
- Atherosclerosis is a heart condition when fats and plaque build up in the heart’s arteries. It leads to blood flow blockage and a dozen heart problems. The state is observed in kids who are obese and are suffering from diabetes, hypertension, genetic factors, and various other similar health issues.
- Arrhythmia– It is a heart disease that is observed when the heart beats irregularly or rapidly. It happens due to the low pumping of blood by the heart.
- Heart Murmurs– This happens when a murmuring sound is made due to blood flow in the heart. The condition may not be identifiable initially but can become severe if not treated correctly.
Various other forms of Common Heart Conditions in Children observed can be:
- Kawasaki Disease
- Rheumatic Heart Disease
Symptoms of Common Heart Conditions in Children
- Rapid Heartbeats- It happens when the electrical signals in the heart’s upper chambers are dysfunctional, leading to irregular heartbeats. The individual feels a rapid heart rate, leading to various other issues, such as pain in the chest and breathlessness, when not treated at the right time. In such scenarios, consulting a doctor should be the first step.
- Swollen Legs and Tummy– Signs such as swelling near the tummy, legs, and ankles also indicate heart disease in a child. It occurs due to improper blood flow in the affected child’s body.The blood accumulates in the legs, ankles, feet, near eyes, and tummy, leading to swelling. A doctor should immediately consult such signs to know the root reason and begin the required treatment.
- Cyanosis- Cyanosis in children with heart conditions refers to the bluish discolouration of the skin or lips caused by inadequate oxygen levels in the bloodstream. It occurs when the heart’s function or the oxygen-rich blood supply is compromised due to congenital heart defects or other cardiac issues. Cyanosis signifies a serious oxygenation problem, demanding immediate medical attention. Timely diagnosis and intervention are crucial to address the underlying heart condition and ensure the child’s proper oxygenation and overall health.
Fatigue– It is a condition when the child feels a blackout or is unable to maintain balance. It happens when the child’s heart works harder to pump blood all over the body. Under such conditions, the heart works under stress. The procedure also involves –
- Higher metabolism.
- Leading to the quick burning of calories.
- Making a child weak and tired even after performing light physical activities.
Diagnosis of Common Heart Conditions in Children
Mentioned below are some of the tests and physical examinations that help a doctor identify any possible form of heart disease in a newborn:
- Echocardiography- It employs non-invasive ultrasound to provide real-time visualisation of the heart’s structure and function. This imaging modality unveils congenital heart defects, valve abnormalities, and chamber dimensions.
- Electrocardiogram- It helps to assess heart rhythm and electrical activity, revealing irregularities that could indicate arrhythmias or other cardiac issues.
- Chest X-ray- It offers an overview of chest area to rule out any issues with lung tissue, aiding in precise diagnosis.
- Pulse Oximetry- It is a non-invasive technique used to measure the oxygen saturation level in a person’s blood. It helps detect cyanosis, a bluish discoloration caused by reduced oxygen levels in the blood, which can indicate congenital heart defects or other circulation problems.
- Cardiac Catheterisation- It is a more invasive diagnostic procedure used to gather detailed information about the heart’s structure and function.
Treatment of Common Heart Conditions in Children
Below are some treatment options to cure children’s heart disease. Other types of treatment are required depending upon the defect a child is suffering from:
- Balloon Valvuloplasty- It is a minimally invasive procedure used to treat congenital heart defects involving narrowed heart valves, known as stenosis.
- Ross Procedure It is a surgical intervention often considered for children with aortic valve disease. It involves replacing a diseased aortic valve with the patient’s pulmonary valve, which is then replaced with a donor pulmonary valve.
- Aortic Valve Replacement- It involves the surgical removal of a diseased aortic valve and its replacement with either a mechanical valve or a biological (tissue) valve. Mechanical valves are durable but require lifelong anticoagulation therapy. Biological valves, derived from human or animal tissue, do not require anticoagulation but might need replacement over time as the child grows.
- Common Heart Conditions in Children restrict the affected child from performing routine activities. The affected child may feel pain in the chest, dizziness, fatigue, or weakness while playing outdoor sports or performing other tedious activities. The treatment of heart disease depends on the type of disease the child suffers from.
When to Consult a Doctor
You can also get in touch with the expert cardiology doctors at Narayana Healthcare based in your city to get immediate attention and medical support during injuries, health disorders or any other health concern.
Q. What are some of the Common Heart Conditions in Children?
A. Some common heart diseases observed in children are arrhythmias, Kawasaki disease, and congenital heart disease.
Q. What are the symptoms of heart disease in children?
A. Health symptoms such as pain in the chest, dizziness, tiredness, and fatigue are some of the health conditions that define heart issues in children.
Q. How are common heart conditions in children treated?
A. Diagnosing common heart conditions in children involves a comprehensive approach. Paediatric cardiologists employ various tools, including echocardiography, which uses ultrasound to visualise heart structure and function. Electrocardiograms (ECGs) assess heart rhythm. Additional imaging techniques such as chest X-rays, MRI, and CT scans provide detailed insights. Functional tests, such as exercise stress tests, gauge heart performance under exertion.