A Look at Cardiovascular Conditions in Children

Heart disease, high blood pressure, and other cardiovascular conditions don’t only affect older adults. Some children are also diagnosed with heart and vascular problems. Some of these conditions are present at birth. These are known as congenital defects . Others are acquired conditions that develop later. If your child needs specialized heart care and you live near Thousand Oaks, you can find innovative solutions at Los Robles Hospital and Medical Center.

Congenital Heart Defects
There are many types of heart defects that may be present at birth, including atrial septal defect (ASD) and ventricular septal defect (VSD). An ASD refers to an abnormal opening in the wall that separates the two upper chambers of the heart. A VSD is similar, but the hole is located in the wall that separates the two lower chambers. ASDs and VSDs don’t always require treatment, as the abnormal opening may either close on its own or fail to cause symptoms. In severe cases, the child may need surgery to close the opening.

Heart Failure
Heart failure involves the inability of the heart to pump enough blood. This means that the tissues throughout the body do not receive sufficient oxygen. Sometimes, heart failure is caused by a congenital heart defect like ASD or VSD. It’s also possible for a viral infection to inflict damage on the heart muscle, which can cause pump failure.

High Blood Pressure
High blood pressure, or hypertension, can affect babies, older children, and teenagers, as well as adults. Children may develop secondary hypertension , which is caused by an underlying disease or a medication. Kidney disease, for example, can result in pediatric hypertension. Primary hypertension may be the result of multiple factors, such as family history, obesity, physical inactivity, and poor diet. Primary hypertension is more often diagnosed in adolescents than in young children.

If your child is in distress, call 911 immediately. The Emergency Room staff at Los Robles Hospital and Medical Center coordinates closely with our cardiology department to provide rapid responses for cardiac conditions. If you have general questions about our hospital services in Thousand Oaks, you can call a registered nurse at (877) 888-5746.