Tetralogy of Fallot in Children
WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW:Tetralogy of Fallot (TOF) is a heart condition your child was born with. TOF causes the following 4 heart structure defects that lead to a weak heart and decreased blood flow:
- A narrowed blood vessel that connects the heart to the lungs
- A hole in the wall that separates the heart
- Aorta (major artery) growth from both sides of the heart instead of from one side as normal
- Blood flow that backs up and causes the right side of the heart to enlarge and thicken
- Medicines help your child's heart beat strongly and regularly, or help get rid of extra fluid.
- Do not give aspirin to children under 18 years of age. Your child could develop Reye syndrome if he takes aspirin. Reye syndrome can cause life-threatening brain and liver damage. Check your child's medicine labels for aspirin, salicylates, or oil of wintergreen.
- Give your child's medicine as directed. Contact your child's healthcare provider if you think the medicine is not working as expected. Tell him or her 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.
Follow up with your child's healthcare provider as directed:
Write down your questions so you remember to ask them during your visits.
Care for your child:
- Place your child on his side and pull his knees up to his chest if he turns blue. This will help increase blood flow to his lungs.
- Keep your child's gums and teeth clean and healthy. Brush your child's gums or teeth regularly. Ask if your child needs antibiotics when he gets his teeth cleaned.
- Do not smoke around your child. If you smoke, it is never too late to quit. Smoke can harm your child's heart and lungs and make it hard for him to breathe. Ask for information if you need help quitting.
- Have your child vaccinated to help protect him against infections caused by viruses or bacteria. Ask for more information about vaccinations for your child.
Contact your child's healthcare provider if:
- Your child has a fever.
- Your child's signs and symptoms get worse.
- Your child is unusually fussy or irritable.
- Your child has weakness.
- You have questions or concerns about your child's condition or care.
Seek care immediately or call 911 if:
- Your child has sudden trouble breathing.
- Your child has a seizure.
- Your child faints.
- Your child's lips or fingernails are blue or white in color.
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.