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Heart Catheterization In Children


A heart catheterization is a procedure to look at your child's heart and blood vessels. Caregivers can also use the catheter to check the pressure in your child's heart and lungs.


Follow up with your child's primary healthcare provider (PHP) or cardiologist as directed:

Write down your questions so you remember to ask them during your visits.

Limit your child's activity as directed:

If the catheter was put in your child's leg, encourage your child to keep his leg straight as much as possible. If he needs to cough, have him put pressure over the area with his hands. If the catheter was put into his arm, encourage him to not to move his arm. Ask your child's cardiologist how long to limit movement of your child's arm or leg.

Encourage your child to drink liquids as directed:

Liquids help flush the dye used for the procedure out of your child's body. Ask your child's cardiologist how much liquid your child should drink each day, and which liquids to drink. Some foods, such as soup and fruit, also provide liquid.

Wound care:

Carefully wash your child's incision wound with soap and water. Dry the area and put on new, clean bandages as directed. Change the bandages when they get wet or dirty. Ask when your child can bathe.

Contact your child's PHP or cardiologist if:

  • Your child starts to bleed from the place where the catheter was put in. Use your hand to put firm pressure on the bandage. Hold this pressure while you call your child's cardiologist right away.

  • Your child's wound is red, swollen, or has pus coming from it.

  • Your child has a fever.

  • Your child has chills, a cough, or feels weak and achy.

  • Your child's skin is itchy, swollen, or has a rash.

  • You have questions or concerns about your child's condition or care.

Seek care immediately or call 911 if:

  • You cannot stop the bleeding from the place where the catheter was put in, even with pressure.

  • The bruise where the catheter went into your child gets bigger.

  • Your child's leg or arm loses feeling, is painful, or changes color.

  • Your child becomes weak on one side of his body or face.

  • Your child has trouble speaking clearly.

  • Your child has a change in his vision.

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The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.