Congenital Heart Defects

Questions to Ask Your Doctor

If you've been diagnosed with a congenital heart defect, there are several key questions that you should ask your cardiologist during your next visit. These questions will ensure that you and your doctor have discussed your major risk factors so that you can become or stay as healthy as possible.
  • What is the name of my/my child's congenital heart defect and would you explain it to me?
  • What caused my/my child's congenital heart defect?

  • Should my blood pressure be taken in a specific arm?
  • Do I need to take antibiotics before going to the dentist?
  • What symptoms should I consider an emergency?
  • May I have a copy of my ECG to keep with me in case of an emergency?
  • Are there sports or activities that are dangerous for me or I should avoid?
  • What is my usual oxygen saturation? Why is this important?
  • Are there types of contraception that I should avoid?
  • Will my child require lifelong care for the congenital heart defect?
  • Does pregnancy put me at specific risk due to my congenital heart disease?
  • Where can I find more information about my/my child's condition?
  • How will the defect be fixed?
  • What can I expect for my child’s development and lifestyle as he/she grows?
  • Are there medications that we should avoid?
  • Is it OK to travel?
  • In an emergency, what do I tell EMS or the emergency room doctors/nurses?
  • Will I/my child always have to see a cardiologist?
  • Are there support groups for patients or families?
  • What are the risks that I will have other children with a heart defect?
Questions to Ask Your Doctor »

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