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Congenital Heart Defects - When To Call a Doctor

Call 911 or other emergency services immediately if your child has severe difficulty breathing, faints, or has seizures.

Call your doctor immediately if your child with a congenital heart defect has:

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  • Symptoms of heart failure or cyanosis—the bluish tint that affects skin, lips, and nails because of lack of oxygen—that become significantly worse within a short time period.
  • Symptoms of endocarditis, such as a fever that won't go away.
  • Symptoms of dehydration, such as sunken eyes with few tears, a dry mouth with little or no spit, and little or no urine for 6 hours.

Talk to your doctor if your child with a congenital heart defect has:

  • Moderate difficulty breathing.
  • A poor appetite and isn't eating well, or sweats while eating, or has a rapid heartbeat or rapid breathing while eating.
  • Less energy or seems to be sleeping more than usual.
  • Sudden weight gain or isn't gaining weight.

Who to see

The following health professionals can evaluate symptoms of a congenital heart defect:

To prepare for your appointment, see the topic Making the Most of Your Appointment.

    This information is produced and provided by the National Cancer Institute (NCI). The information in this topic may have changed since it was written. For the most current information, contact the National Cancer Institute via the Internet web site at http:// cancer .gov or call 1-800-4-CANCER.

    WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

    Last Updated: March 12, 2014
    This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.
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