Pediatric Heart Expert Forum
Autistic boy, heart murmur, fainting
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Questions in this forum are answered by pediatric cardiologists, cardiothoracic surgeons and anesthesiologists from The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia. This forum is for questions and support about pediatric heart problems, symptoms and topics such as heart murmurs, palpitations, fainting, chest pain, congenital heart defects (including management and intervention), fetal cardiology, adult congenital cardiology, arrhythmias and pre-participation athletic screening.

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Autistic boy, heart murmur, fainting

Dear Sir/Madam

My son, now 10 years old, was born in week 35. He didn't breath at all the first 14 minutes. He had an open ductus, but that closed by itself the second day. My son is autistic, with ADHD. He cannot describe or alert of any physical pain or discomfort, not even a fractured foot. However we, his parents, have learned his signals, and can most of the time figure out what is wrong (hungry, need for toilet, sore throat etc.). The last 8 weeks he has grown tired, irritated. A week ago he fainted. At the hospital the pediatric cardiologist told us that he has a systolic heart murmur, and a slight tachycardy. He has shown us that he sometimes has pain in his chest. My son alters between being his usual cheerful self and being very tired. In your opinion - does this sound urgent? What exams are needed? But most important perhaps, how do we parents communicate to doctors that has never met him our feeling that something is very wrong, when our son can't do that himself?
773655_tn?1340656399
It is impossible to answer your question because I do not have the necessary information:  I do not know what tests were done at the hospital after he fainted and what his vitals signs were when he was evaluated. I don't know what he was doing when he fainted. I do not know why he is tired more than usual or if he had any blood tests checked...there are SO MANY potential reasons for his symptoms.   if you spoke to a pediatric cardiologist who told you there was a heart murmur, then generally they would also tell you what they thought that murmur was from and what tests they planned to do.  at a minimum, your child needs an electrocardiogram (ECG) to check for electrical problems that can lead to fainting and possibly an echocardiogram (ultrasound of the heart) to evaluate the cause of the heart murmur and see if it would be linked in any way to the fainting episode.  Fainting is generally not an emergent problem, unless it occurs during physical activity or with stress, when we would be more worried about serious arrhythmias of the heart.
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Jeffrey R Boris, M.D.Blank
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