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Heart Catheterization In Children


A heart catheterization is a procedure to look at your child's heart and blood vessels. Healthcare providers can measure oxygen levels and pressures in your child's heart. They can also fix blockages in your child's blood vessels, close holes in the walls of the heart, or open up valves that are closed. A small opening may be made in the walls of your child's heart or pieces of his heart tissue may be removed.


Call 911 for any of the following:

  • You cannot stop the bleeding from the place where the catheter was, even with pressure.
  • The bruise where the catheter was gets bigger.
  • 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.

Seek care immediately if:

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

Contact your child's healthcare provider if:

  • Your child has a fever or chills.
  • Your child's wound is red, swollen, or draining pus.
  • You child has nausea or is vomiting.
  • Your child's skin is itchy, swollen, or he has a rash.
  • You have questions or concerns about your child's condition or care.


  • Acetaminophen helps decrease your child's pain and fever. This medicine is available without a doctor's order. Ask how much medicine is safe to give your child, and how often to give it. Acetaminophen can cause liver damage if not taken correctly.
  • Take your medicine as directed. Contact your healthcare provider if you think your medicine is not helping or if you have side effects. Tell him or her if you are allergic to any medicine. Keep a list of the medicines, vitamins, and herbs you take. Include the amounts, and when and why you take them. Bring the list or the pill bottles to follow-up visits. Carry your medicine list with you in case of an emergency.


Do not allow your child to take a bath or swim until your healthcare provider says it is okay. Your child can take a sponge bath or shower the day after his procedure. Carefully wash the wound with soap and water. Pat the area dry after you wash it.

Care for your child's wound as directed:

Do not remove the bandage until directed by your child's healthcare provider. He may tell you to leave the bandage on until the day after the procedure. Put on a new, clean bandage after bathing as directed. Change your child's bandage when it gets wet or dirty. Monitor your child's wound every day for signs of infection, such as redness, swelling, or pus.

Care for your child:

  • Limit your child's activity to prevent bleeding. Have your child lie on the couch or rest quietly until the day after his procedure. Your child can take short walks to the bathroom or around the house. He should not play sports or do vigorous activity after his procedure. Ask your healthcare provider when he can return to normal activities.
  • Have your child drink liquids as directed. This may prevent blood clots and help your child heal faster. Ask how much liquid your child should drink each day and which liquids are best for him.

Follow up with your healthcare provider as directed:

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

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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.

Further information

Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.