Arrhythmias are any abnormality of the heart’s electrical system. Typically the heart has a very ordered and precise electrical process to pump blood through the heart to the lungs and then through the remainder of the heart and out to the body. This process happens 60 to 160 times per minute every minute of every day for more than 90 years. For most people, there are never any mistakes in this process.
The electrical impulse inside the heart starts in a cluster of cells called the sinoatrial node. This electrical impulse then travels through the atria, or collecting chambers of the heart, toward the cluster of cells between the atria and the ventricles, or pumping chambers of the heart. This cluster of cells is called the atrioventricular node. This cluster of cells regulates the electrical “communication” between the atria and the ventricles.
Since arrhythmias are any abnormality of this electrical system, there are an innumerable amount of them. They can be a totally safe small difference from the normal or a very significant electrical disturbance that greatly affects a child.
The Children’s Heart Institute at Children’s Memorial Hermann Hospital has extensive experience treating infants from across the world that have arrhythmias. Treatment is individualized to the child’s specific anatomy, age, size and other associated cardiac conditions.
One arrhythmia, called catecholaminergic polymorphic ventricular tachycardia is brought on during exercise and stress. It is a genetic disorder that occurs in multiple family members. The arrhythmia is an abnormal electrical impulse of the ventricle. This is treated with exercise restriction, certain medications, and with surgery in the right circumstances.
Innovations at Children’s Memorial Hermann Hospital in the treatment of truncus arteriosus include:
At Children’s Heart Institute at Children’s Memorial Hermann Hospital, patients with congenital or acquired heart disorders receive hands-on specialized care 24/7 from a team of affiliated physicians and specialty-trained nurses who aim to deliver the best possible outcomes.
Children’s Memorial Hermann Hospital was named one of the top 50 best children's hospitals nationally in Cardiology & Heart Surgery by U.S. News & World Report. In addition, Children’s Heart Institute is among the top congenital heart surgery programs in North America for patient care and outcomes, according to the Fall 2019 Society of Thoracic Surgeons (STS) Congenital Heart Surgery Database Report of 118 STS participating programs.
In collaboration with various subspecialties, the affiliated team provides comprehensive care for newborns, children and adolescents, with the ability to transition into adult congenital cardiac care. Team members have the experience and skills necessary to offer innovative treatment methods and specialized services, including, but not limited to:
With the Level IV Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) and a dedicated Children’s Heart Institute Intensive Care Unit at Children’s Memorial Hermann Hospital, critical heart patients have access to quality, specialized care. By utilizing state-of-the-art techniques, the team at Children’s Heart Institute strives to offer patients with the most complex problems the greatest opportunity for a normal life.
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The Children’s Heart Institute is a collaboration between the affiliated physicians at McGovern Medical School at UTHealth Houston and Children’s Memorial Hermann Hospital. Typically, patients are seen on an outpatient basis at a UT Physicians clinic with all inpatient procedures performed at Children’s Memorial Hermann Hospital.