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.
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 brings together medical, nursing, and allied health teams to provide specialist family support, and works in partnership with other teams within the Network (such as anaesthetics, intensive care and neonatology, and medical imaging).
The SCHN Cardiac Service offers patient services at the Children's Hospital at Westmead and Sydney Children's Hospital, Randwick, and also has an excellent research program to enhance the care provided to cardiac patients and their families.
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.