Heart and Blood Conditions

Rheumatic Heart Disease Treatment

  • Schedule an appointment +

    • For appointments in Seattle, Bellevue, Everett, Federal Way, Olympia, Tri-Cities and Wenatchee, call 206-987-2515.
    • For appointments in Tacoma and Silverdale, call 253-272-1812.
    • For appointments in Alaska, call 907-339-1945.
    • How to schedule

    If this is a medical emergency, call 911.

  • Find a doctor +

  • Locations +

    • Seattle Children's Main Campus: 206-987-2515
    • Bellevue Clinic and Surgery Center: 425-454-4644
    • Everett: 425-304-6080
    • South Clinic in Federal Way: 253-838-5878
    • Olympia: 360-459-5009
    • South Sound Cardiology Clinics: 253-272-1812
    • Tri-Cities (Richland): 509-946-0976
    • Wenatchee: 509-662-9266
    • Pediatric Cardiology of Alaska: 907-339-1945
    • Seattle Children's doctors provide many cardiac services at regional sites throughout the Pacific Northwest. See our complete list of Heart Center locations.

  • Refer a patient +

    • If you are a provider, fax a New Appointment Request Form (NARF) (PDF) (DOC) to 206-985-3121 or 866-985-3121 (toll-free).
    • No pre-referral work-up is required for most conditions. If you have already done testing such as an EKG, Holter monitor or echocardiogram, please fax this information as well as relevant clinic notes and the NARF to 206-985-3121 or 866-985-3121 (toll-free).
    • Your patient will be seen as quickly as possible by the provider who is the best match for managing the current problem.
    • View our complete Heart Center Referral Information (PDF).

Rheumatic fever requires treatment with medicine (antibiotics). After initial treatment, preventative medicines (prophylactic antibiotics) are needed to make sure the strep infection doesn’t come back. Your doctor may also prescribe anti-inflammatory medicine to treat the joint pain and swelling. Bed rest may be recommended, and this can range from 2 to 12 weeks, depending on the seriousness of the illness.

If diagnosed with rheumatic fever, your child will need follow-up care with a heart doctor (pediatric cardiologist) to check for long- term damage to the heart (rheumatic heart disease).

Rheumatic Heart Disease Treatment

Once a child gets rheumatic heart disease from a strep infection, they may have to take medicine (antibiotics) for decades to prevent a return of rheumatic fever that can cause more damage to their heart valves.

If your child has a damaged heart valve that is narrow or leaks enough blood to strain their heart, they may need surgery to repair or replace the valve. Sometimes, if the valve is too narrow, a balloon catheter procedure (balloon valvuloplasty) may be used to try to open the valve without surgery. However, in many cases, the valve cannot be opened with a balloon procedure, and a child needs surgery to replace their valve with an artificial one.

Contact Us

Contact the Heart Center at 206-987-2015 for a cardiac referral, a second opinion or more information.