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A Parent’s Guide to Heart Disorders

A Parent’s Guide to Heart Disorders

James H. Moller
William A. Neal
William R. Hoffman
Copyright Date: 1988
Edition: NED - New edition
Pages: 164
https://www.jstor.org/stable/10.5749/j.ctttv249
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  • Book Info
    A Parent’s Guide to Heart Disorders
    Book Description:

    A Parent’s Guide to Heart Disorders was first published in 1988. The outlook for children with heart disease is much brighter today than it was just a few decades ago; medical and surgical advances now make successful treatment possible. Yet, as the field of pediatric cardiology becomes increasingly technical, parents are in greater need of clear, readable information on the subject. The authors of this book know that informed parents can best allay a child’s fears, prepare the child for treatment, and assist in recovery. In A Parent’s Guide to Heart Disorders, they describe the structure and function of the normal heart and then show how the pediatric cardiologist evaluates and tests the young patient. Diagnosis may include several noninvasive procedures -- electrocardiogram, chest x-ray, and echocardiogram -- and a key invasive procedure, cardiac catheterization, now the most accurate and thorough means of assessing the heart’s condition. These tests are all carefully described, with a full and reassuring chapter devoted to catheterization, a process often especially worrisome to parents. The book’s central chapters deal with the nature and treatment of the most common congenital and acquired heart diseases; the evaluation and care of cardiac arrhythmias, or irregularities of heartbeat; and cardiac surgery -- its development and the role its plays in treatment today. The congenital disorders surveyed are ventricular septal defect, aortic stenosis, tetralogy of Fallot, and transposition of the great vessels. (Other, less common congenital diseases are described in an appendix.) The acquired, or postnatal, disorders covered are cardiomyopathy (a broad range of conditions that affect the heart muscle), rheumatic fever, bacterial endocarditis, Kawasaki disease, mitral valve prolapse, and pericarditis. The last chapters offer sensible advice on coping with everyday life -- for both parents and children -- and on contending with death, which, though less likely for children now than in the past, remains a possibility for those with a serious disorder. Illustrated throughout with photographs and diagrams, the book closes with five appendixes ranging in content from specific duties of the hospital’s cardiac team to a list of professional associations and parent support groups.

    eISBN: 978-0-8166-5537-3
    Subjects: Sociology

Table of Contents

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  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-iv)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. v-vi)
  3. FOREWORD
    (pp. vii-viii)
    Robert J. Gorlin

    A Parent’s Guide to Heart Disordersis the first book of a series in which we hope to address the needs not only of parents but also of physicians and persons concerned with the care of children with relatively common disorders. We used as a modelThe Child with Down’s Syndrome, written by David W. Smith, M.D., and Ann Asper Wilson and first published in 1973 by W. B. Saunders, Philadelphia. The book is very valuable because it makes the complex concepts of genetics and pediatrics understandable to parents. Such is the goal of our series.

    InA Parent’s Guide to...

  4. Preface
    (pp. ix-2)
  5. Chapter 1 A REMARKABLE PUMP
    (pp. 3-12)

    Before you can understand what is wrong with your child’s heart, you must know something about normal heart function and normal murmurs, which are discussed at the beginning of chapter 2. The heart is a relatively simple organ compared with others, so grasping how it works is not as hard as it might seem.

    The heart is a pump. It is not an ordinary pump. No other pump could work one hundred thousand times a day and more than two billion times over an average human life span without regular servicing. For sheer durability, the heart is easily the most...

  6. Chapter 2 THE HEART MAY BE A PROBLEM
    (pp. 13-28)

    If you are worried that your child might have a heart problem, you should make an appointment with your doctor as soon as possible. The presence of a heart problem can be identified by discovery of a heart murmur, an abnormal sound your doctor may hear when listening to your child’s heart. Most murmurs in children do not indicate a heart problem, and these normal murmurs must be distinguished from those that do.

    Most heart diseases have fairly clear symptoms and can be recognized more easily than many other diseases. If your child does in fact have a heart disease,...

  7. Chapter 3 CARDIAC CATHETERIZATION
    (pp. 29-36)

    In the next several chapters you will meet Kevin, James, and Erica, young people with heart defects who are being treated successfully. Although each has a unique defect, they have one thing in common: they have undergone cardiac catheterization. This is a procedure in which a tiny, flexible tube called a catheter is introduced into the heart to help the cardiologist make a diagnosis or, occasionally, to help correct a problem. For Kevin, James, and Erica, cardiac catheterization was a key factor in their diagnosis and treatment.

    Your cardiologist may recommend this procedure because catheterization is considered the gold standard...

  8. Chapter 4 CONGENITAL HEART DISEASE
    (pp. 37-50)

    Kevin is a 28-year-old success story. He is an up-and-coming advertising manager of a large retail company and a member of MENSA, an organization of people with high IQs. Kevin is remarkable because he has succeeded despite a serious congenital heart disease. From kindergarten to the time he graduated from high school, he missed about a third of schooltime. When he was not in school he was at home, protected from extreme temperatures and germs.

    "When Kevin was two and a half we took him to a cardiologist," his mother said. "We were told that he had a heart defect...

  9. Chapter 5 ACQUIRED HEART DISEASE
    (pp. 51-64)

    James is a typical fifteen-year-old boy in almost every way. He is bright, likable, and often forgetful when it comes to taking his medication. James has a heart defect that developed after he was born. At first his outlook was bleak without surgery. His cardiologist consulted with colleagues about James’s unusual problem and decided to put him on a new drug. His condition improved dramatically. Today, ten years later, James is among the most physically fit boys in his class and shows no visible signs of a heart problem. His doctor no longer thinks surgery will be necessary, as long...

  10. Chapter 6 CARDIAC ARRHYTHMIAS
    (pp. 65-72)

    The heart comes as close to perfection as any pump imaginable. Think of it: five thousand beats per hour, more than one hundred thousand beats per day, and more than two billon beats in an average lifetime. But nature is not perfect; some children have irregular heartbeats.

    During an examination your doctor may find that your child’s heartbeat is irregular. Perhaps your child already told you about a funny "flip-flop" feeling in his or her chest. Such irregularities of the heartbeat are called arrhythmias. Because the living heart is never without some form of rhythm, another term for conditions of...

  11. Chapter 7 CARDIAC SURGERY
    (pp. 73-80)

    Erica is a seven-year-old delight with a smile so broad it nearly reaches her ears. She has beaten the odds over and over, and she will have to beat them again if she is to survive into adulthood. She was a blue baby. When Erica was just two days old, her parents took her to a children’s hospital, where she was diagnosed with complex heart disease. Among other things, she has a single atrium and ventricle. She was "fading fast" when she was referred to a university hospital. Erica underwent emergency heart surgery.

    "Erica wouldn’t have survived without surgery," her...

  12. [Illustrations]
    (pp. None)
  13. Chapter 8 COPING WITH A GROWING CHILD
    (pp. 81-88)

    Erica, the seven year old you met at the beginning of chapter 7, came home from school one day and told her mother that her classmates were asking about her purple lips. Naturally she asked her mother why she had purple lips.

    "In my infinite wisdom, I said ‘Because God made them that way,’" her mother recalled. Undeterred, Erica decided on a course of action. "Let’s ask God for a different color," she said.

    Once Erica was with her mother in a grocery store and a woman in the checkout line remarked that Erica looked cold. "I suppose I should...

  14. Chapter 9 DEATH, DYING AND GRIEVING
    (pp. 89-94)

    "My husband and I knew that Justin would eventually have to have another heart operation, but we were scared when the time actually came. Even Justin knew that something was wrong. He was starting to get blue and tire out so easily. I think he wanted the operation so he could be just like other children. He wasn’t as frightened as we were, maybe because we told him he would be pink and run and play like his friends. I used to feel so guilty that we told him he would be all right, but not anymore. I didn’t want...

  15. Chapter 10 NEW HORIZONS IN PREVENTION AND RESEARCH
    (pp. 95-102)

    Regardless of whether your child has a heart problem, you should help him or her develop healthy habits to lower the risk of cardiovascular disease occurring in adulthood. Conditions such as angina, myocardial infarction or heart attack, high blood pressure, and stroke result from degenerative processes during aging.

    If this is true-and studies show that these processes do take place—what can be done? Research has shown that people who follow certain health habits can slow the rate of these potentially dangerous changes. Each of us can do things right now to improve our health and possibly increase our life...

  16. Appendix A. THE HEART PEOPLE
    (pp. 105-108)
  17. Appendix B. QUALITY OF CARE AND PATIENT RIGHTS
    (pp. 109-111)
  18. Appendix C. OTHER KINDS OF CONGENITAL HEART DISEASE
    (pp. 112-126)
  19. Appendix D. PROFESSIONAL ASSOCIATIONS AND PARENT SUPPORT GROUPS
    (pp. 127-133)
  20. Appendix E. PROGRAM FOR PREVENTION OF ATHEROSCLEROSIS
    (pp. 134-134)
  21. SUGGESTED READINGS
    (pp. 137-138)
  22. GLOSSARY
    (pp. 141-144)
  23. Index
    (pp. 147-153)
  24. Back Matter
    (pp. 154-154)