Sunrise Children's Hospital
For more than three decades, Sunrise Children’s Hospital has been Nevada’s largest, most comprehensive children’s hospital.

How Does Pregnancy Affect Your Heart?

Posted on 3/15/2017

One thing many mothers-to-be overlook when they are thinking about the way pregnancy changes their bodies is the impact it has on the heart. Pregnancy does affect your heart, whether your heart is healthy or you have a high-risk pregnancy due to existing heart disease. Your OBGYN will monitor your heart health throughout pregnancy, labor, and delivery. Here is what you need to know.

Typical Pregnancy-Related Heart Changes
During pregnancy, the amount of blood in your body will increase to support your developing baby. Within the first five to eight weeks of your pregnancy, the amount of blood will increase by between 40 and 50%. This increased amount of blood impacts your heart, which has to work harder to pump the additional blood. Generally, your heart rate could increase by about 10 to 15 beats per minute to accommodate the blood. For many women, blood pressure actually decreases by about 10 mmHg because the blood vessels dilate to allow the additional blood to flow through. The excess blood could create a minor heart murmur, but if it occurs, it is not typically dangerous.

Potential Complications
In some women, instead of decreasing because of the dilation of blood vessels, blood pressure actually increases during pregnancy. Preeclampsia is a condition in which the blood pressure spikes after about 20 weeks of pregnancy, after it has previously been normal. High blood pressure increases the risk of heart attack and stroke and can also put the baby’s health at risk, so your doctor may recommend an early delivery. Some women also experience other heart complications that can cause fatigue, shortness of breath, chest pain, and dizziness.

Pregnancy with Pre-Existing Heart Conditions
If you have a pre-existing heart condition, your pregnancy may be designated as high-risk. The increased blood volume can strain your heart and increase your risk of heart failure, arrhythmias, and worsening of your existing condition. Your doctor will monitor your heart health closely throughout your pregnancy.

Sunrise Children’s Hospital in Las Vegas is committed to providing the best possible care to mothers-to-be and young patients through high-pregnancy care, children’s emergency care, and our NICU. Call us at (702) 233-5437 for a referral to a high-risk pregnancy specialist or for more information about our children’s hospital.

Preparing Your Child for Diagnostic Cardiovascular Exams

Posted on 3/13/2017

If your child needs diagnostic exams to diagnose a potential heart problem, it’s normal for both you and your little one to be a little nervous. Fortunately, the staff at Sunrise Children’s Hospital knows just how to make your child feel at ease no matter what procedure he or she is facing. These tips will help you prepare your child for a diagnostic cardiovascular exam.

Follow All Prep Orders Closely
Failing to follow the pediatrics specialist’s preparation instructions could lead to your child’s diagnostic exam being postponed, which is stressful for both you and your little one. Be sure to follow any instructions carefully, including withholding food and water on the morning of the test or adjusting your child’s medication schedule. If you don’t understand any part of the instructions, ask one of the medical team before the day of the test. Many diagnostic procedures don’t require special preparation, but verify with your doctor before the procedure to ensure that you haven’t missed any important instructions.

Know What to Expect
Get a complete explanation of what to expect on the day of the diagnostic test, from your check-in to the actual exam itself. Knowing what your child will experience, how long the test should take, and whether you can be present for the test will help you feel more comfortable. When you understand what is coming, you can also help your child prepare.

Stay Calm for Your Child
Your child will look to you to decide how anxious he or she should be, so show your child that you feel calm and confident. If your child asks questions, don’t try to hide information that may be upsetting, such as the need for a shot or the fact that you can’t go into the exam room with your child. Being honest and acting calm about the facts will make your child feel confident.

The pediatric cardiology team at Sunrise Children’s Hospital is skilled in performing complex procedures on young patients, using child-sized equipment for your little one’s comfort. Request a referral to a pediatrics specialist in Las Vegas by calling (702) 233-5437.

A Closer Look at Pectus Excavatum

Posted on 3/10/2017

Pectus excavatum is a common congenital defect of the chest cavity in which the breastbone is sunken in, creating a cone-like shape. It may be diagnosed after birth but can become severe during adolescence. Although treatment is not always required, some children require surgery to deal with severe symptoms. If your child has pectus excavatum, his or her pediatric specialist will monitor the condition and determine when treatment is needed.

Who is at risk of developing pectus excavatum?
The cause of pectus excavatum is not known, but boys are more likely to experience it than girls. Doctors suspect that it could be an inherited condition, as it often occurs in families. Because the exact trigger for the condition has not been identified, there are no clear factors that create an increased risk of having a child with pectus excavatum, other than having a family history of the condition.

What are the symptoms?
In some cases, the symptoms are very minor and can include a slight indentation in the chest that may be noticeable after birth. During adolescence, when a growth spurt happens, the indentation may become more dramatic. If the breastbone is significantly sunken in, it can squeeze the heart and lungs and cause shortness of breath, wheezing, coughing, chest pain, heart murmurs, and arrhythmias, as Sunrise Children’s Hospital pediatric surgeon Dr. Nicholas Fiore explains in this video.

How is it treated?
Treatment depends on the severity of the symptoms. For mild cases, no treatment may be needed or physical therapy may be used to alleviate mild symptoms. In more severe cases, surgery to repair concave chest cavity and situate the breastbone in a healthier position may be recommended. Surgery is usually recommended during adolescence, but some people wait until adulthood to undergo the procedure.

Our pediatric heart care program at Sunrise Children’s Hospital is one of the largest in the western U.S., and we are the only hospital in the region that is equipped to perform pediatric open heart surgery. For more information about pediatric heart care , our NICU, and pediatric care in Las Vegas, call (702) 233-5437.

Why Your Child Needs Dedicated Pediatric Care

Posted on 2/27/2017

Children have special medical needs that are different from those of adults. When your child isn’t feeling well, you need to know that he or she is being well taken care of by highly trained pediatric clinicians. That’s why Sunrise Children’s Hospital is on a mission to care for the well-being of children in our community. In fact, we are the only dedicated children’s hospital in the Las Vegas area. Our focus on children’s health allows us to provide the specialized care and support services they need.

Specialized Training
When you take your child to a children’s hospital, you can rest assured that every doctor who sees your child has received specialized pediatric training. Children’s hospitals bring together highly trained pediatricians, pediatric emergency medicine doctors, pediatric nurses, and other professionals who have an in-depth understanding of the unique health issues that affect young patients.

Pediatric Medical Equipment
You might be surprised to learn that not every healthcare facility is fully equipped with child-sized medical equipment. A children’s hospital has the right equipment for children of all ages, ranging from pediatric hospital beds to special pressure cuffs.

Worry-Free Setting
It’s difficult enough to watch a child cope with pain and other symptoms. Families shouldn’t have the added burden of a stressful hospital visit. When you take your child to a specialized pediatric care location, he or she will be soothed by the colorful, child-friendly décor and positive ambience.

Child-Centered Support
Children often have difficulty understanding what’s happening during a diagnostic test or treatment. Their siblings may also express negative emotions about the situation. At a children’s hospital, families can work with Child Life Specialists. These professionals are specially trained in putting young patients at ease and using age-appropriate language to explain hospital procedures. Child Life Specialists can also provide support for the young patient’s siblings.

Sunrise Children’s Hospital features the largest dedicated children’s emergency care department in Las Vegas. Our pediatric specialists work closely with parents to provide family-centered care. If you would like more information about the unique care our children’s hospital provides, you can call a registered nurse at (702) 233-5437.

What to Remember When Giving Your Child Medication

Posted on 2/19/2017

No parent wants to see their child struggle with an illness. Although medications can sometimes help your child feel well again, they are not without certain risks. These include the risks of drug interactions, overdoses, and side effects. You can protect your child with help from the pediatric specialists at Sunrise Children’s Hospital in Las Vegas.

OTC Medicines
Over-the-counter (OTC) medications are available in formulations designed specifically for children. However, it’s always a good idea to check with your child’s pediatrician before administering any OTC drugs. Some drugs should never be given to children, such as aspirin, and others should only be given to children of a certain age or weight. Your pediatrician can let you know which medicines are safe to give your child and in what dosages.

Giving your child too much of a medicine can be harmful and it won’t help him or her feel better more quickly. Check and double-check the dosage instructions before administering a medicine. For liquid medicines, use the provided medicine cup or other tool. For example, if you’re giving your child one tablespoon of medicine, use the medicine cup or a measuring spoon, rather than an ordinary kitchen spoon. Write down the time when you administered the dosage and avoid giving the next dosage too early.

Drug Interactions
It’s possible for certain medications to interact with each other. These include prescription and OTC drugs, as well as supplements. Before giving your child a new prescription or OTC medicine, ask the doctor or pharmacist if there is a risk of a drug interaction with your child’s current medicines.

Safety Issues
Before purchasing a medication, check the exterior packaging for any signs of damage. Do not purchase drugs with damaged packaging. At home, double-check the label to make sure it’s the correct medicine for your child. The drug’s lid or seal should not be broken. When in doubt, ask a pharmacist for guidance or call your pediatrician.

Sunrise Children’s Hospital is your family’s partner in wellness. Our children’s hospital is proud to serve families throughout the Las Vegas area with exceptional pediatric services, including emergency care. If you have a general healthcare question, you can call a registered nurse at our hospital at (702) 233-5437.

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