Journal of Emergencies, Trauma, and Shock
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SYMPOSIUM
Year : 2011  |  Volume : 4  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 89-96

Pediatric cardiac emergencies: Children are not small adults


1 Department of Pediatrics and Division of Pediatric Cardiology, The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, Maryland, USA
2 Department of Pediatrics, Anesthesiology and Critical Care Medicine and Division of Pediatric Anesthesiology and Critical Care Medicine, The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, Maryland, USA

Correspondence Address:
Aisha Frazier
Department of Pediatrics and Division of Pediatric Cardiology, The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, Maryland
USA
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/0974-2700.76842

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Compared with adults, cardiac emergencies are infrequent in children and clinical presentation is often quite variable. In adults, cardiac emergencies are most commonly related to complications of coronary artery disease; however, in pediatric cases, the coronaries are only rarely the underlying problem. Pediatric cardiac emergencies comprise a range of pathology including but not limited to undiagnosed congenital heart disease in the infant; complications of palliated congenital heart disease in children; arrhythmias related to underlying cardiac pathology in the teenager and acquired heart disease. The emergency room physician and pediatric intensivist will usually be the first and second lines of care for pediatric cardiac emergencies and thus it is imperative that they have knowledge of the diverse presentations of cardiac disease in order to increase the likelihood of delivering early appropriate therapy and referral. The objective of this review is to outline cardiac emergencies in the pediatric population and contrast the presentation with adults.


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