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Supraventricular Tachycardia in Newborn
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Supraventricular Tachycardia in Newborn

Hello.  My wife gave birth to our first child on April 3rd.  We're thrilled, but terrified at the same time.  He has been diagnosed with Supraventricular Tachycardoa (SVT) and has had several episodes already with his heartrate elevating into the 260s.

Obviously, we've spoken to doctors and nurses about this, and they are telling us that he can live a perfectly normal life even if he doesn't outgrow this in a few months, but we haven't heard any statistics or survival rates.  I see things like 'this is not normally a life threatening condition', but what does that mean?  

The baby is still at the hospital now, being monitored 24-7.  We're hoping to bring him home soon.  How are we going to deal with this here at the house?

Any advice/suggestions/experiences would be greatly appreciated!
Thank you.
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Avatar_n_tn
Mick,

I really can't specifically answer your question, since I'm not a pediatrician or a perinatologist.  

I can tell you a few things.  I know a few people with kids that had SVT while in utero or shortly after pregnancy and those kids are doing very well.  Your physicians are not going to let your son go home without being assured that he will do ok.

If you have continued concerns -- express them explicitly to your phsycians. Pregancy and childbirth can be very stressful, add any type of  variation from the norm and the stress level certainly increases exponetially.

Good luck and keep us updated.
8 Comments
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Avatar_n_tn
Hi there,

Oh, I'm so sorry for you and your wife!  I'm sure you were both terrified when you heard the words supraventricular tachycardia.  Is it a pediatric cardiologist who is monitoring your baby at the hospital?  I'm sure they've run tests too.  Do you know what kind of tests?  SVT usually, from I've been told by my cardiologist and reading is not life threatening, more of a nuisance.  

I know for adults, it's usually more of an inconvience than anything.  My own heart would jump up to the 180's for no apparent reason and then return to normal within a few beats.  My father has had supraventricular tachycardia since he was a young teenager and he's almost 60 and still kicking.  I guess one question I would ask my doctor if it were my baby is how long is the tachycardia lasting.

I'm sure your pediatrician will want to keep a close eye on him just to be on the safe side (:  I'd ask to be referred to a pediatric cardiologist if it were me.  You should make a list of all your questions and take them with you to the doctor.  If you're not satisfied, go to someone else or ask friends/family if they have a pediatrician they really trust.  In the meantime I'll pray for your little baby but I'd wager that it will all turn out well.  Best wishes to you and your wife and congratulations on your new bundle of joy!  Babies are so wonderful!!

momto3girls
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170935_tn?1225374676
Hi there, congrats on your baby! I am 27 yrs old and have had svt since i was a teenager, however i was only recently diagnosed. Since being diagnosed i was amazed to see that alot of young people and children have svt too and live a normal life. It is unpleasant when it is happening but thankfully it is not life threatening just very very annoying
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Avatar_n_tn
I do have a very important tip.  Have your new baby assessed and monitored while he is sitting in a car seat and stroller for a decent period of time but make sure its done PRIOR to leaving the hosptial.  You will be able to see if a certain position can aggravate the SVT. Also make sure you have a good stroller than can either recline flat like a crib (some make bassinets for their strollers as an accessory,, I can think of at least two that do this) or at the very least make sure that the back of the stroller seat reclines to the 45 deg recline of a car seat, ideally it would be flatter than that, just drop the idea of having an el cheapo umbrella stroller, it will just not perform to the level you need. It will not work to have a stroller that has your baby more upright than a carseat at this age and with his health issues.  

Premmies have issues with oxygen sats when in carseats and strollers for long periods of time, so its important to have an idea of what works and what does not.      They do make special premmie flat infant car seats, but you will have to check that with a google search to find them.  A good source for stroller info is Consumer reports, who have just come out with a rating of strollers.  

Those are some practical points, secondly, just make sure you feel comfortable when you take him home, if you wife is nursing the stress of having him home may affect her milk supply (ti could initially drop), so keep an eye on how often he wets his diapers and how many dirty ones, plus the amt of time he took food or if formula feeding how much he drank.  Keep your wife's fluid intake and calorie intake on the high end for a while and use any sort of lacation consultancy services you have access too.  Often they will visit the house for a private consult for about $40.  Wish I knew more about the SVT condition in infants.  If i have a chance I will look it up and add to the post.  OH and while you are there try to get a consult with the feeding specialist, which will be either an occupational therapist or a physical therapist, they will take a good look at your baby and let you know if the baby has any oral issues that may affect feeding and weightgain.  It will be easier to get the baby seen while in there  and not having to traipse around to an evaluation appt with a hungry baby.

Congratulations again, its got to be hard having him still in the hospital, but he will be home soon and your life will turn upside down in a good way.

Fiona - Mom of 3, 7y, 4y and just turned 17mths.  The last two were borderline premmie at 36wks.    



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88793_tn?1290230777
Hi, congraturation on your baby boy!

I noticed my first palpitation in 6 yrs old.  Diagnosed and medicated in 15 yrs old.  (SVT and RBBB - wpw)  Dr said I born with it.  Now I'm 49.  A mother of 2.  I'm still having wpw.  Yahoo have some group for svt babies.  Feel free to ask if you've any question.
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61536_tn?1340701763
First, congratulations on your new baby :)

Just wanted to say I've had SVT since I was a child and I'm doing very well.  My mom and sister also have it.  It can be frustrating, as intense emotional moments or exercise *can* trigger it, but I've had this a very long time and in people with normal hearts it is a well-tolerated arrythmia.  Unless your son has a structural heart defect, SVT should not pose a risk to his life.  Remember too that babies naturally have a faster heart rate than adults do too and for me...the higher my heart rate is when SVT hits, the higer the rate the SVT is (usually 180-ish but as high as 220).  I hope this is reassuring to you.  I know that when it's your child, it's almost impossible not to worry, and as a mother of a 1 and 3 year old I totally understand that.

Sending good thoughts your way, and congrats again!  I hope you get to bring him home very soon.
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Avatar_n_tn
Hello Everyone Starting January I had freaquent episodes where I Would wake up at night and have a  racing heart.. After 1 month of tests they said they think its Super Vascualar Tachycardia ... I chose to do the Ap Study  instead of taking medicine my whole life on March 22nd.... I had the surgery they found the problem while I was awake and before they burned it they put me to sleep after the Surgery i went into recovery I was told to stand up my pulse went to 140..when i sleep at night its 70 or laying down. Everyday since its been going that high and the doctor told me he burned the problem off and now it must be somethign else causing the problem... He thinks its the nervous system because I had a virus in late january.. I am soo lost please anyone help me I would fly anywhere in the world for the best doctor! Please email me ***@****
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Avatar_n_tn
I can tell you a lot from personal experience if you want to comment back? My daughter had SVT when she was born. Her heart was racing at about 320 per minute and she had episodes of going form SVT to sinus rhythm. The doctors started off by wrapping her in a sheet and submerging her head in ice cold water with ice cubes in it for 5 seconds!! It was so scarey! This reverted her back to sinus by stimulating the vagus nerve (divers reflex). This was only a temporary solution so they had to try different medicines on her (amiodorone, digoxin etc) To cut a long story short she spent the first six weeks of her life in and out of hospital til she stabilised and then became an outpatient until she was two and a half when she was finally discharged! We were so scared we'd lose her but we were told that the most dangerous part of SVT is before it's diagnosed so now it's diagnosed try not to worry as I'm sure he'll outgrow it like my daughter did. At home I had a stethoscope to monitor her.
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Avatar_m_tn
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