Heart (cardiac)

What is a heart problem?

There is a wide range of heart conditions, from an ‘innocent murmur’ (meaning that no medical intervention is required) to defects in the walls of the heart ('hole in the heart'), in the valves (such as being too narrow or completely blocked), chambers or anatomy. The heart may not pump well and the body may not get as much oxygen as it needs. Symptoms often develop soon after birth and include a blue tinge to the skin and lips, shortness of breath and difficulty feeding. Many children have no symptoms, however, and it all depends on the type and severity of the heart condition.

Heart How do we help children who have a heart problem?

Heart  (cardiac) defects can usually be treated with medicine, procedures or surgery.

The Sydney Children's Hospitals Network (SCHN) Cardiac Service aims for the best cardiac care and best experience for families..

They bring together medical, nursing, dedicated family support, research, technology and work with other parts of the Hospitals (including anaesthetics, intensive care and neonatology, and medical imaging), .

The SCHN Cardiac Service includes both the Heart Centre for Children at Westmead, which integrates all aspects of the inpatient and outpatient clinical service (with a history dating back to 1960),  a cardiac research program (Kids Heart Research), inpatient care (especially in the cardiac ward - Edgar Stephens Ward), and family emotional and social support, and also Cardiology and Cardiac Surgery programs at The Sydney Children's Hospital Randwick.

Open heart surgery equipment

Open heart surgery machines that are widely used around the world are thought to have been contaminated during manufacture and  have been replaced. There is a very low risk of patients contracting an infection. If you would like more information, please read the Factsheet.