Heart Catheterization In Children
WHAT YOU SHOULD KNOW:
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.
AFTER YOU LEAVE:
- Antibiotics: These are given to prevent or fight an infection caused by bacteria. Your child must take these until they are gone, even is he feels better sooner.
- Give your child's medicine as directed: Call your child's primary healthcare provider if you think the medicine is not working as expected. Tell him if your child is allergic to any medicine. Keep a current list of the medicines, vitamins, and herbs your child takes. Include the amounts, and when, how, and why they are taken. Bring the list or the medicines in their containers to follow-up visits. Carry your child's medicine list with you in case of an emergency. Throw away old medicine lists.
Follow up with your child's primary healthcare provider or cardiologist as directed:
Write down your questions so you remember to ask them during your visits.
It is normal for your child to have a small amount of bruising and soreness where the catheter went in. This area may hurt for a few days.
- Keep your child's catheter wound clean and dry. Change the bandage daily or whenever it gets dirty or wet. Do this until the catheter wound scab falls off.
- Draw a line with pen around the edges of your child's catheter bruise. This will show you if the bruise starts to get bigger.
- You may give your child a sponge bath or shower after he goes home. Do not let your child take a full bath or go swimming until the scabs where the catheter was put in fall off. This usually takes about 1 week. Carefully wash the catheter site with soap and water. Afterwards put on a clean, new bandage.
Children usually recover from a heart catheterization quickly. Help your child to play quietly or lie flat as much as possible the night after the procedure.
- Ask your child's primary healthcare provider or cardiologist when he may return to school, preschool, or daycare.
- Dress your child in loose clothing for the first few days. This will keep the skin around the catheter wound from being irritated while it heals.
- Ask when your child can return to contact sports or other activities.
Ask your child's primary healthcare provider what your child should eat. If your child has an upset stomach, you may need to give him only clear liquids. Ask if your child can eat the foods he regularly eats if he feels well.
Contact your child's primary healthcare provider 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 and call your child's primary healthcare provider right away.
- Your child's incision is swollen, red, or has pus or foul-smelling fluid 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.