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Mended Little HeartGuide

Diagnosis 3 In The electrophysiology (EP) study, which is a painless test that records electrical activity in the heart, may be ordered to diagnose any arrhythmias in your child. Some arrhythmias will not require treatment, but an electrophysiologist (EP) — a special type of cardiologist — may still monitor your child to make sure the arrhythmia is not harming the heart. If the heart rate is too slow or too fast, the heart may not be able to pump enough blood, and your child’s arrhythmia may need to be treated. Also, if the heart has extra beats or is skipping beats, treatment may also be recommended. Pacemakers A pacemaker is a tiny computer with wires (leads) that send electrical impulses to the heart when it senses the heart is beating too slow or not beating. Pacemakers also store information about your child’s heart rhythm. The pacemaker has batteries that will need to be replaced, usually every five to 10 years. The batteries are not like normal batteries that can die suddenly. Instead, they decrease in strength slowly and give plenty of warning. Children with pacemakers may have some activity restrictions, so be sure to ask his or her doctor. A pacemaker is put into the chest through surgery. Your child’s cardiologist will schedule follow-up appointments to monitor the pacemaker. Sometimes a wand is put over the spot where the pacemaker is to collect information that the pacemaker has stored. Other times the data is sent to the cardiologist’s office wirelessly. Implantable Cardioverter Defibrillation (ICD) An ICD is a small computer that detects when the heart rate is dangerously fast. When this happens, it sends a small shock to your child’s heart to stop the fast cycle. Sometimes people with ICDs feel the shock, but others barely notice it. The small shock typically restores the normal rhythm so the heart can pump blood. ICDs are put in through surgery, and people with ICDs will be monitored, typically by an electrophysiologist. 1 General Information 2 Prenatal Hospital 4 Living With CHD 5 Forms 31


Mended Little HeartGuide
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