Pediatric echocardiography services are available for children under age eighteen, both inpatient and out patient. A routine pediatric echo can be expected to take an hour, but special circumstances could require longer. Echocardiography is useful for assessing cardiac anatomy and function, including sources of murmur, or whether breathing issues are cardiac related.
In the outpatient setting, preparation should be age appropriate. For infants, a suggestion would be to try to schedule the exam during the child's nap time, so they might sleep through it. A child just waking up from a long nap, and ready to be active, is not conducive to an accurate exam. If helpful, a feeding is often the best aid to a peaceful child. Taking a bottle, even during the exam, is not a problem, and if it helps keep the child still, it is welcome assistance. A favorite pacifier or blanket can also help.
For toddlers and up, a selection of children's videos and DVDs are available to help pass the time. If the child wishes to bring his or her own favorite movie from home, we currently have available VCR and DVD players, but not Blu-ray.
After completion of the exam, the study will be read, usually that day, and results forwarded to the patient's doctor, normally within two days.