• Heart and Vascular Disease

    Fainting (Syncope)

    Fainting, or syncope, is the temporary loss of consciousness and tone in the body that results from a temporarily inadequate blood supply to the brain. Insufficient blood flow to the brain may be due to a decreased amount of blood leaving the heart or to increased pooling of blood in the rest of the body

    Heart Murmur

    A heart murmur is simply a noise made by blood as it travels through the heart and vessels. It does not necessarily imply that there is an abnormality with the heart. In fact, many murmurs are commonly heard in normal children and adults.

    High Blood Pressure (Hypertension) in Children

    High blood pressure, or hypertension, affects 10 to 15 percent of the school-age population, according to several studies. Even babies can have high blood pressure.

    Congenital Heart Disease

    Congenital heart disease refers to problems of the heart and major arteries that are present at birth. While heart defect is the most common birth defect, the chance of survival is high. Advances in interventional cardiology have played an important role in increased survival rates.

    Acquired Heart Disease

    A heart disease that develops after birth is described as an acquired heart disease.


    High cholesterol is often thought of as a problem that you only have to deal with as an adult. Most people do not think they need to worry about cholesterol levels in their children, but that is not true.

    Children and Heart Disease

    If your child is born with a heart defect or acquires a heart problem during childhood, you will no doubt have many questions. As you seek answers, on this website, from your doctor, and from other sources, keep in mind that new therapies and technologies sized especially for children continue to improve the outcomes for children born with a congenital heart defect or who acquire a heart condition as they are growing up. In fact, some 90 percent of children born with a heart defect survive to adulthood.

    Performance-Enhancing Drugs & The Heart: Do You & Your Teens Know the Dangers of Doping?

    Use of performance-enhancing drugs (PEDs), also known as “doping,” isn’t just a problem among elite athletes like Lance Armstrong. Unfortunately, PED use is widespread in high schools, colleges, and gyms across the United States. Many young people may feel pressured – by their peers or by their own ambitions – to use these illegal drugs to improve their competitive performance, lose weight, or improve their own body image. Doping may raise the risk for a number of serious health-related problems, including increased risk of heart-related death and long-term cardiovascular damage.

    Energy Drinks & The Heart: Know the Risks

    According to some reports, up to half of children and young adults in the United States consume the beverages known as “energy drinks” or “energy shots,” which may contain three to five times the caffeine in a same-size can of soda. Even as their popularity has grown, energy drinks have come under scrutiny for possibly serious health effects, including heart rhythm problems, increased blood pressure, and—in rare cases—cardiac arrest.

    Pulse Oximetry Screening: Simple Test Saves Lives

    Each year, approximately 1 of every 110 babies is born with a heart defect. When a heart problem is present at birth, it is called congenital heart disease. Heart defects are the most common type of birth defect, causing 24 percent of birth-defect-related infant deaths. Certain heart defects that are serious enough to require treatment during the first year of life are referred to as critical congenital heart defects (CCHD). For many babies, the first step toward successful treatment is a quick, painless test called pulse oximetry. Many states now require hospitals to perform pulse oximetry screening before a newborn is sent home.

    Bringing Happy Holidays to the Hospital: Celebrating with the Little Heart Patient in Your Life

    For the family of a young heart patient, making the most of the “most wonderful time of year” can be daunting. Keeping traditions going during the holidays may seem like a stressor you just don’t have time for. Take heart, though, because those traditions can also bring a sense of normalcy for you, your child, and your whole family. We asked SecondsCount doctors and nurses for suggestions about how to enjoy the holidays if you’re in the hospital.