Paediatric heart rhythm disorders
It is well known that heart rhythm disorders (arrhythmias) occur in adults, but
few are aware that it is also a significant problem among many South African
children. Children may be born with a heart disorder that causes electrical and
functional problems in the heart. In some cases, parents may not realise their
child has a debilitating heart disorder until it is diagnosed by a paediatric
Symptoms of paediatric heart rhythm disorders
Fainting can be an indication that your child is suffering from a heart rhythm
disorder. You should always seek medical attention if your child faints. Other
symptoms may include heart palpitations, dizziness, light headedness, discomfort
in the chest, or general weakness. A child with an inherited heart rhythm
disorder may fail to thrive.
Causes of paediatric heart rhythm disorders
Heart damage and rhythm disorders may be caused by several factors including
certain infections and rheumatic heart disease. However heart rhythm problems
are particularly common among babies born with a complex congenital, or
inherited, heart defect.
Treatment of paediatric heart rhythm disorders
In addition to conservative treatments such as medication, paediatric
cardiologists offer a range of services for the diagnosis and treatment of heart
rhythm disorders. These include electrophysiology studies and minimally invasive
catheter based ablation procedures to correct certain heart rhythm problems.
Cardiologists who have specialised in electrophysiology for adults can also
treat children with rhythm disorders through interventions such as cardiac
ablations to correct abnormalities and restore a coordinated, regular heartbeat.