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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.

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WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

Last Updated: May 09, 2013
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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