Specialties that diagnose or treat this condition:
If your child has been diagnosed with heart failure, it means the heart isn’t pumping effectively, and blood isn’t circulating properly. When the heart is beating so inefficiently that fluids back into the lungs, the condition is called congestive heart failure.
There are two kinds of heart failure. With systolic heart failure, your child’s heart becomes enlarged and weak. With diastolic heart failure, a chamber of the heart becomes stiff and can’t pump efficiently. Heart failure can be congenital, such the condition sometimes called a hole in the heart, or it can be caused by diseases, such as cardiomyopathy, which prevents the heart muscle from pumping properly. Kidney disease can also cause heart failure.
If your child has heart failure, symptoms may include weight gain, shortness of breath or wheezing, fatigue, or racing heartbeat. A pediatric cardiologist may use a chest X-ray, an electrocardiogram, an echocardiogram, or lab tests to diagnose your child’s heart failure. Several medications exist to reduce heart failure symptoms, but when your child’s condition is advanced, a heart transplant may be the best option.
Combining advanced technologies with compassionate patient care, our multidisciplinary team of cardiologists, surgeons, nurses, and other medical specialists support children from diagnosis through treatment and beyond. We are especially skilled in treating high-risk children.
If your child’s treatment involves a heart transplant, you can be confident knowing that our program is one of the best. Our Heart Center is one of only 22 pediatric heart transplant programs in the United States and the only one in the Minneapolis/St. Paul area approved to implant the mechanical Berlin Heart® into children. This pump may actually heal the heart so that no transplant is necessary. In other cases, it keeps children alive until a donor heart can be found. Since the Heart Center opened in 1981, more than 80 children have received heart transplants at our hospital.
Treatments, Tests, and Procedures
Left Ventricular Assist Device (VAD)
Pediatric Heart Transplant
Extracorporeal Membrane Oxygenation (ECMO)
There may be other treatments, tests, and procedures for this diagnosis, including:
- Medical Management
- Heart (Cardiac) Surgery
- Cardiac-Assist Devices (Berlin Heart, HeartMate II)