Symptoms of Congestive Heart Failure
Some of your child’s symptoms may depend on whether the left side, right side or both sides of the heart are affected.
These are common symptoms of congestive heart failure in babies:
- Having a fast heartbeat and fast breathing
- Working hard to breathe when feeding (which causes trouble feeding and gaining weight)
- Being restless or irritable
- Sweating more than normal
Young children with heart failure tend to have problems with breathing too fast, getting short of breath and tiring easily. These problems tend to get worse when the child is more active.
Children may have these symptoms, too:
- Edema, or swelling, in the ankles or abdomen
- Cold hands and feet
Congestive Heart Failure Diagnosis
To diagnose this condition, your doctor will examine your child, use a stethoscope to listen to their heart, and check their breathing and blood pressure.
The doctor will ask for details about your child’s symptoms, their health history and your family health history.
Chest X-rays and echocardiography can provide more information about how your child’s heart looks and works.
To tell what caused your child’s heart failure, the doctor may want also need to do other procedures, like an MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) of their heart, electrocardiogram, or cardiac catheterization.