Heart Conditions – Detailed information for parents
HeartKids is pleased to offer this new online resource for people wishing to know more about the various heart conditions. The site includes details on tests, procedures and operations along with details on health and nutrition, exercise, schooling, adult congenital heart issues. Click link to view: Heart Conditions – Detailed information
Children with Heart Conditions – online booklet
A great booklet for parents of a child with a heart condition
The forms below may assist you when your child starts childcare/preschool/school.
Outpatient Appointments at the Royal Children’s Hospital
When your child has an appointment to see a cardiologist at the Royal Children’s Hospital you will receive a letter detailing the tests the cardiologist has requested and confirming your appointment time. If you are unable to attend please call (03) 9345 6400 to reschedule so that your slot can be reallocated. If your child is having multiple tests in addition to seeing the cardiologist you could be at the clinic for as long as 2-3 hours. Please come prepared with all you need for the visit, for example babies bottles, snacks, strollers, special toys etc.
Below is a brief description of tests your child may have and an idea of how long the test will take and what preparations you may need to make.
An ECG is a recording of the heart rhythm that involves placing ECG electrodes (stickers) on the arms, legs and across the chest. A recording is then made showing the electrical activity of the heart. It requires being as still as possible when the recording is taken. It is useful if parents of babies or small children bring something to help achieve this eg: a bottle or toys. The test should take 3-5 minutes.
An echocardiogram is an ultrasound of the heart to look at the structure size and blood flow of the chambers and associated blood vessels. Your child needs to be settled during the study so it is helpful with babies and infants to have a bottle or dummy available for them. Maybe a favourite toy would be useful for small children. For older children DVDs are available or you could bring a particular favourite. The study normally takes about 30-40 minutes, but this may vary.
24 HOUR HOLTER ECG MONITOR
A 24 Hour Holter ECG recording requires wearing a recorder (about the size of a pager) with ECG electrodes (stickers) attached to the chest for 24 hours. In some cases you may be required to wear the recorder for a longer period. You will not need to stay in the hospital and will be free to leave once your appointment is finished and the recorder has been fitted. The technologist who fits the recorder will discuss with you how it should be returned. The recorder must not get wet so a bath or shower is not possible (nor is swimming) until it is removed. An otherwise normal day’s activity is possible. It may be requested that some exercise by undertaken while wearing the recorder to check the heart rhythm during exercise as well. You will also be asked to keep a diary of activities and events while wearing the recorder. It will take approximately 10-15 minutes to fit the recorder and explain the procedure.
This test assesses how the heart responds to exercise i.e. an increase in heart rate. This is done by recording an ECG while walking and running on a treadmill. Blood pressure is monitored during and after exercise and sometimes oxygen saturation also. Please wear or bring something comfortable to exercise in (including comfortable shoes) eg t-shirt and shorts or track pants and running shoes. A shower is available after the test. The test will take approximately 30-40 minutes.
ECG electrodes (stickers) are attached to the chest and a special computer id used to “talk” to the pacemaker. This ensures the pacemaker is working with the heart’s own rhythm to pace the heart in the correct way as programmed by the cardiologist. The pacemaker is checked at regular intervals and may be reprogrammed as felt necessary. The test will take 15-30 minutes.
If your cardiologist has requested a chest x-ray this will be done in another department and may take 20-30 minutes.
Social Work Matters
Introduction to articles as printed in HeartKids Victoria Newsletter
As the team leader for the Social Work service to the Cardiology Unit at the Royal
Children’s Hospital, Melbourne, I will be contributing an article to each Heartkids
The role of Social Work is to provide emotional and practical support to patients
and their family and each of these columns will address a different topic about
If there is a particular topic you would like me to cover, please feel free to email
me at: email
Social Work Team Leader – Critical Care & Cardiac Team
The Royal Children’s Hospital, Flemington Road,
PARKVILLE VIC 3052 AUSTRALIA
Ph: 03 9345 6111