Children's Hearts Require Follow-Ups



The development of the heart and vascular system in children is different from that of adults. Development and changes in the hearts of children continue from birth until adulthood. In this process, parents should be careful about the healthy development of the child's heart and have regular checks. Cardiology department deals with the heart health of adults, while the heart health of children falls into the field of paediatric cardiology.


Regular check-ups for early diagnosis


It is important for the health of the heart that parents have regular follow-up with their babies after birth; the paediatrician who performs the checks refers the patient to the paediatric cardiologist when he notices the symptoms. In case of any doubts, the necessary tests should be done by paediatric cardiology department.


The Modern Era Endangers Children's Hearts


The incidence of heart problems has been increasing in recent years in children; nine out of every 1,000 children are born with a heart disease. Especially with the modern lifestyle, negative factors such as increased inactivity, obesity, diabetes, and distancing from natural nutrition threaten the heart health of not only adults but also children. As a result of the spread of an unhealthy lifestyle, cardiovascular health is getting affected since childhood.


Healthy hearts Healthy Generations


Heart disease in children can be congenital or develop later due to various factors. The cause of most heart conditions in children is still not fully known. Children should be followed-up for heart disease from the time they are conceived until they reach the age of 18.


Academic Hospital Department of Paediatric Cardiology


Today, due to the increasing cases of heart disease in children, it is necessary to closely follow-up the children's hearts and have regular check-ups. In the Department of Paediatric Cardiology at Academic Hospital, the diagnosis and treatment of congenital and acquired (subsequent heart disease,) diseases of all infants, children, and adolescents between the ages of 0 and 18 are performed.


Scientific, reliable health care


The Department of Paediatric Cardiology at Academic Hospital tests and detects heart conditions in children and provides scientific and reliable health services for all cardiological problems.


The first step in appropriate treatment is the correct diagnosis.


As with any disease, it is very important to make the correct diagnosis in order to provide appropriate treatment for heart health of children. In the Department of Paediatric Cardiology at Academic Hospital, we provide the highest level of service to children with the most advanced modern medical technologies used in diagnosis and treatment.


Most Current Diagnosis and Treatment Methods


Many diagnostic methods, such as paediatric transthoracic echocardiography and exertion test are safe, painless, and radiation-free examinations to view the heart. Diagnoses and treatments are done at world standards using the latest medical technologies, accompanied by experienced doctors and staff in this field.


A few simple examinations can save their future.


Some congenital heart diseases may manifest themselves very early, and symptoms may occur in childhood. It is lifesaving to intervene in some of the congenital heart diseases that can be diagnosed by echocardiography as early as the 20th week of pregnancy and in the first hours after birth. A child who can recover with a simple surgery in a timely manner can lose the chance of surgery later because he cannot be diagnosed. Some of the diseases give symptoms immediately after birth, while others are silently observed and may go unnoticed for many years. With a physical examination, it is possible to protect the child's heart health with simple methods such as heart electrodes and a chest x-ray.


Preventive medicine is the priority for little hearts.


By adopting the principle of "our children are our future and our most valuable treasure," Academic Hospital prioritizes protecting the health of little hearts and informs parents to give their children a healthy diet and regular exercising habits.


How to Treat Heart Disease in Children?


Most congenital heart diseases in children can be healed with only routine monitoring and no treatment. In case of possible complications, it is enough to regularly monitor the natural course of disease by the paediatric cardiologist.


Congenital heart diseases are relatively small but vital and require interventional cardiology and cardiac surgery interventions. Large holes in the heart, significant valve and vascular stenosis, and valve diseases may require surgery.


Worldwide achievement rate in Turkey


Currently, procedures such as closing some holes in the heart and opening narrow valves or vessels that used to require surgery can now be performed without surgery with interventional cardiological methods. Most complex heart surgeries performed in the most advanced clinics around the world can also be performed in Turkey and the success rate reaches 90%.


Answers to Common Questions About Children's Heart Health:


Are heart diseases genetic in children?


Heart diseases in children are divided into two main categories: congenital and acquired. Unlike in adults, the type of heart disease most commonly observed in children is congenital. The rate of congenital heart disease in new-born babies is 9 per 1,000. This seemingly high rate includes simple valve problems, small holes, or different types of congenital heart diseases such as mild valve and vascular stenosis. A large part of congenital heart diseases are not congenital. Most of them are due to other diseases and infections that the mother had during her pregnancy. Congenital heart diseases can occur due to many different factors and might happen due to infections such as mumps or measles the mother has during pregnancy, systemic diseases the mother has (diabetes, connective tissue diseases, etc.), and toxins such as alcohol, cigarettes, and drugs.


Which heart diseases are most common in children?


Children may have various heart diseases. The most common ones include the majority of congenital heart diseases like holes in the heart, valve and vascular stenosis, and vascular connections called PDA that are present before the baby is born and do not close after birth, while a small number are complex congenital heart diseases that occur with bruising. Acquired (subsequent) heart diseases are caused by infection, systemic diseases, and many other causes. Apart from these two groups of diseases, there is another group of diseases called rhythm disorders.


What is a murmur?


The murmur in the heart can be defined as a different sound that is briefly heard during the heartbeat, reminiscent of blowing. This sound is understood only by the physician listening to the heart with a stethoscope. When the paediatrician says, "There is a murmur in your child's heart," it creates panic and anxiety in families. However, these murmurs are often "innocent murmurs." In some age groups, murmurs can be heard in 3 out of 5 children. Innocent murmurs disappear with a decrease in intensity over time, so it is not permanent. However, not every murmur heard in the heart is innocent. Murmurs due to structural pathology and disorders in the heart are called "pathological murmurs." Pathological murmurs are caused by structural disorders such as holes in the heart, holes in the heart wall, problems in the heart valve, vascular openings, and stenosis of the cardiac vessels. A simple physical examination by a paediatric cardiology specialist determines the type of murmur in the heart. Pathological murmurs should be monitored regularly by the paediatric cardiologist.


If your child has these symptoms, contact the Paediatric Cardiology Department:


  • Murmur in the heart
  • Bruising
  • Palpitations not being able to gain weight
  • Developmental retardation
  • Respiratory distress, frequent breathing
  • Frequent respiratory infections
  • Chest pain
  • Quick fatigue
  • Fainting
  • Dizziness

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