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Heart trouble and your child
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March 07, 2007

Part I: Is your child suffering from heart disease? 

We often tend to associate health conditions related to the heart, with adults.

But even children suffer from these. The Blue Baby Syndrome is a common condition, where a child is born with a hole in the heart.

Paediatric cardiologist Dr Swati Garekar chatted with anxious parents on February 28, offering her advice on the right course of action for children suffering from BBS and other heart conditions.

For those of you who missed the chat, here is the transcript:


 jayesh asked, many times my child heart beats fast and when he cries heavily his lips become purple done 2D echo test but nothing in it.Please advice
Dr Swati Garekar answers, How old is your child? Who did the echocardiogram? How is his overall growth?


mohan asked, some time i am facing chest pain and problem in breathing
Dr Swati Garekar answers, You need to visit a physician. It is possible that you either have a lung problem like asthma or a heart problem. an MD physician can examine you and decide which test to order (chest XR or ECG, ECHo etc).


chintu asked, Hi Doctor, My daughter is 9 months old. She is having a lump on her chest. We got the ultrasound done last week and got to know that lump is abutting the heart measures around 4.8 x 2.1 x 2.8 cm. Large dilated vessels are seen within the swelling. Can you please suggest something on this.
Dr Swati Garekar answers, Please get a CT scan of the thoorax with angiogram.


manish_78 asked, Hello Dr Swati, My Son is 25 days and he had first episode of SVT 14 days back and he was admitted into NICU,after that there were 2 more episodes while he was at NICU , doctors have diagnosed him to have WPW Syndrome. They have started Amiodarone therapy to control the SVTs in future , can u tell me is it safe to give Aminodarone to infants? What is the long term cure for this syndrome?
Dr Swati Garekar answers, Amiodarone is safe to give to infants. It is important to check function of the thyroid gland and liver function tests before starting the medicine and also once every 6 months. please apply sun screen before taking her in the sunlight. long term cure for SVT is radio frequency ablation. this is a procdure done in the cath lab where the doctor uses radiowaves to burn the extra 'short circuiting' fibres. it has a high rate of success. it is not for children less than 5yrs of age.


Varsha asked, This Hole is any problem Please tell me. What yoou are giving suggestions.
Dr Swati Garekar answers, Where is the hole? is it an ASD or a VSD? are there any associated abnormalities?


poonam asked, hello dr. swati i am sweety plese give my answe i am very upset about my daughter
Dr Swati Garekar answers, Sorry, i have lost your question.


ravikumar asked, dear doctor, my son who is 10 years old had a hole(vsd).it was found when he was 1 year old.my cardiologist at that time told it willbe closed with in 5 years.2 years back we took an echo and the hole was closed.my question is will it have any impact on his future life
Dr Swati Garekar answers, Great! Your son is lucky that the hole closed. Consider the chapter closed. it will not impact his future life in any way. (i am assuming that there was nothing else wrong ni his heart).


letha asked, My daughter have 18 years old. When she 3months old the paediatrian found a tiny hole in her heart. But in even scanning it look like very tiny. We cheched it that time regularly. But have not problem in yet 18 years old. Is this became a problem when she become married and after pregnency.
Dr Swati Garekar answers, Where is the hole. please look at he echo report to see exactly what it says : PFO or ASD or VSD. If it is tiny, it unlikely that it will cause any problems after marriage or pregnancy. If it is a VSD, she will need an extra dose of antibiotics at the time of delivery.


abc asked, Hi I'm 32 yearsold my heart beatis 100-110 is there any problem. I had done ecg and all test its clear? what is the reason.
Dr Swati Garekar answers, Anxious? Type A personality? What is your sleeping heart rate? Perhaps you can consult an adult cardiologist if you are not an anxious person.he might recommend a holter test


Vinayak asked, Hi, I have a hole in my heart since birth.Today I am 39 yrs old.I am living ordinary man's life. What possible problem I may face in my 50's or 60's?
Dr Swati Garekar answers, Where is the hole? Is it an ASD or a VSD?


suresh_pareek@rediffmail.com asked, hi doctor Swati, this is suresh, my two kids height is very short. age daughter 13.7yr and son 9.2 yr.even myself and wife are approx 150 cms. ple suggest to increase their heights ( 137 cm and 110 cms resp.)
Dr Swati Garekar answers, Please consult your pediatrician


Roshni asked, My son who is 2 year old now, still has a not so big soft spot in his head. At birth he had a big soft spot leading almost to front of his head. Normally soft spots on head will close by two years, i heard. Is it okay for my son or shall we go to doctor???
Dr Swati Garekar answers, Definitely visit a pediatrician. As soon as possible.


dez asked, hi , my son is 2 and has a perpetual cold, that does not improve with medication, he gets sick ever so often too. cd this be related to a heart prob?? what shd i do to find out???
Dr Swati Garekar answers, It could be. Visit your pediatrician. He or she will find out if his weight is appropriate for his age. Next he will listen for a heart murmur and check his heart rate. He may refer you for a chest X-Ray and or an echocardiogram.


pkpatra asked, PRASANTA < Hell Doctor, My son was suffring from MIXED TAPVR, was operated at AIIM,when he was 14 months, now he is 6 years old. But he is not gaining weight he is only 20 kgs now. will it affect his furute growth and whether any future problem will occur. recently i have done ECHO at Escrot hospital at New-Delhi, doctors are telling no problem in the ECHO Report. please advise me on future course of action. thanks.
Dr Swati Garekar answers, 20 kg seems appropriate for a six-year old child. The echo is a good test for follow up of repaired TAPVC.


zeeshan asked, my daughter is growing very well. infact by god's grace she does not fall ill and her weight gain is perfect. can we say that there is no concern?? or we still have to go the echocardiogram
Dr Swati Garekar answers, I am sorry, I have forgotten if there was any other issue? heart murmur? Please tell me.


t.sreevani@rediffmail.com asked, gtsreevani says, gtsreevani says, Dear Dr.Swati, I have a query to ask not realated to heart, my son is 3 yrs. old and has been suffering with cold since 1 1/2 month, there is no flum in the chest, there is only running nose and since 1 week the flum which is coming out is smelling a bit, and his nose is having a bad odour what to do? what is it exactly doctor
Dr Swati Garekar answers, Please visit a pediatrician. it may be a bacterial infection


pal asked, Thanks for the suggetion, I am in Delhi, Can you please suggest me the right place to go for the tests?
Dr Swati Garekar answers, Escorts pediatric cardiology department.


aravind asked, Hi Dr, What preventive steps need to be taken during the pregnancy time to lessen the chances of a heart disorder for a child?
Dr Swati Garekar answers, The first 12 weeks (after your last menstrual period) are vital. this is when the heart forms. Don't take any medicines withour consulting your obstetrician. get a fetal echocardiogram done. this is done at 18-22 weeks of pregnancy. in case there is any serious heart defect, it can be picked up.


meghna asked, Hi..my son is 3 and a half year old and has been detected ASD 1.2cm hole in his heart...we are planning to get the device insertion done for getting the hole closed by dr bharat dalvi...pls suggest if the method of getting hole closed is right and also if Dr Bharat Dalvi is the right person to get this thing done..
Dr Swati Garekar answers, Yes.


ram asked, madam, my 3 day old daughter died last yr. because HLHS(Hypoplasty left heart syndrome)...believe that it is the rarest of the heart disorders. my wife is pregnant again, how can we make sure that it does not happen this time around...
Dr Swati Garekar answers, Unfortunately there is nothing you can do to prevent it from happening again. however the chance that it will happen again is low (although higher than the normal population). PLEASE GET A FETAL ECHOCARDIOGRAM done by a PEDIATRIC CARDIOLOGIST when your wife is 18 weeks pregnant (count from the first day of her last menstrual period). let us say that there is indeed HLHS again, the pediatric cardiologist can detect that and counsel you. You will still have time to make a decision. In which city are you? Maybe I can suggest a place.


Sarveta asked, Hi Doctor, I am actually in US and think Indian doctors are better just because of the experience they get due to the population. Now to my question- My daughter 10years old has her second pacemaker put about 6 years back. This is her second. What is the long term prognosys for pacemaer patients like her who have 3rd degree heart block?
Dr Swati Garekar answers, They should have a normal quality of life. I am assuming that she has a complete congenital heart block.


Dr Swati Garekar says, I am sorry i have to go back to my OPD. PLease direct any queries to my e-mail address: swati.garekar@wockhardthositals.com.


Part I: Is your child suffering from heart disease? 

-- Dr Swati Garekar is a consultant paediatric cardiologist with Wockhardt Paediatric & Congenital Heart Centre, Mumbai. A graduate from Seth GS Medical College, Mumbai, she obtained her post-graduate degree in paediatrics from the Children's Hospital of Michigan, USA. She has a three-year old fellowship in paediatric cardiology from the same institute and has had exposure in the latest management strategies of all possible congenital heart defects.


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