Heart and Blood Conditions

Heart Failure 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.

    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).

Heart Failure Treatment Options

Treatment for heart failure depends on the cause of your child's problems. Your child's medical team will identify the type of heart failure and talk with you about treatments.

Treatment for heart failure from structural heart disease

If your child was born with a heart problem that causes overcirculation (congenital defect), the doctor may first treat your child with medicine. These medicines can help:

  • Lower the excessive volume of blood
  • Lower blood pressure
  • Improve pumping

Since overcirculation causes poor growth, the doctor may consider giving your child nutritional supplements.

After treatment, your child's condition and symptoms may improve. Doctors call this compensated heart failure. Even though symptoms are better, the underlying problem that caused your child's overcirculation may still exist. Your child eventually may need surgery to repair the problem.

Treatment for heart failure from heart muscle diseases (cardiomyopathy)

If heart muscle disease causes your child's problem, the doctor may first treat your child with medicines. At times, such as when a heart valve is damaged, children may also need surgery.

If a heartbeat that is too slow causes your child's heart failure, the doctor may recommend installing a pacemaker. These small, battery-operated devices are like tiny computers. Doctors place them under your child's skin. A tiny wire connects the pacemaker to your child's heart. Pacemakers help your child's heart maintain a normal rate.

If a heartbeat that is too fast causes your child's heart failure, the doctor may recommend medicines to control the heartbeat. Sometimes doctors recommend a procedure called radiofrequency ablation. The procedure corrects abnormal heart rhythms by applying short bursts of radio waves to the area of the heart muscle that is causing the fast heart beat.

Heart Transplant

As heart failure progresses, your child may need more therapy. They may need to stay in the hospital for longer periods of time.

If other treatment options do not work for your child, doctors may recommend a heart transplant. For more about heart transplants at Seattle Children's, please see What to Expect If Your Child Needs a Heart Transplant.