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slow heart rate in children. advice please from dr/ cardiologist etc

(18 Posts)
NoonarAgain Tue 25-Feb-14 18:22:00

hi. my dd is 9 1/2 yo. she came home from school saying she'd had a dull ache in her chest all day. as we were just about to go to her swimming lesson, I decided to check her pulse, more out of curiosity than genuine concern.

her pulse was 64. there was also some irregularity in pulse. I called the gp and got an immediate apt.

gp said chest ache is indicative of a heart problem in adults but not children. he said its most likely that the chest pain was muscular and unrelated.

he said the irregularity can be usual and caused by just breathing in.

he took the pulse and it was more 80 I think, which he said was slow so booked us an ecg for a couple of days time.

have just taken her pulse again. it's 64.

gp thinks she's probably always had a slow pulse and its only come to light today (in the absence of other symptoms). dd just now said she felt a tiny bit lightheaded as well but not sure how reliable that is...

should I be seeking more urgent investigation? any opinions on gps assessment? am quite anxious so sorry for abrupt tone of thread.

tia x

Topseyandturvey Tue 25-Feb-14 18:50:04

sorry, not a medical opinion, but my heart rate was slow even as child. I am pretty unfit and my resting pulse is 59/60 now.

NoonarAgain Tue 25-Feb-14 18:57:05

thanks topsy

NoonarAgain Tue 25-Feb-14 19:17:20

bump

NoonarAgain Tue 25-Feb-14 19:19:05

AIBU to keep her off school until the ECG?

InSpaceNooneCanHearYouScream Tue 25-Feb-14 22:17:31

I would keep her off, just in case, in view of the chest pain and possible lightheadedness too. But the GP is prob right. I would push for an echocardiogram too though just to be on the safe side. They reveal much more than just an ECG.

InSpaceNooneCanHearYouScream Tue 25-Feb-14 22:22:02

And if the symptoms continue or she gets breathless at all I would take her to a and e. Good luck, I'm sure all will be well

Norem Tue 25-Feb-14 23:18:10

Hi op I would take her to a&e tonight.
They will not mind seeing her at all.
Young people can get heart problems, get her seen by the right team.

DeWe Wed 26-Feb-14 13:49:20

Ds (age 6yo)has a fairly slow heart I discovered during his recent grommet operation. It was down around 60-70 at times-this was before the op, so his normal. They were alert because of it, but not totally alarmed. My dm is similar, she reckons doctors usually take her blood pressure twice because they don't believe it the first time.

I suspect if you have a appointment for 2 days time then A&E will say, unless there is an increase in pain or any other symptoms, then you're better waiting for the experts to see. But I think I'd keep her off until then, or at any rate excuse her from PE and outside play.

Do mention the irregularity though, they can arrange for them to wear something that records the heart throughout the day. A friend of dd2's had that for a while.

bouncingbelle Wed 26-Feb-14 17:05:18

If the ECG doesn't flag up anything, I would be asking for a holter monitor (small device you wear for 24/48 hours) just so they can have a proper assessment of her heart rate.

It may just be that having a slow heart rate is normal for her, I'm now in my thirties but my 'normal' is about 45/50.

Definately definately get it checked out though.

NoonarAgain Wed 26-Feb-14 17:40:30

thanks so much everyone. We have an ECG tomorrow. I didnt go to A and E in the end and feel a tiny but less anxious today. however, I did sleep next to her all night, I must confess.

dd was off school today and slept for over an hour during the day. I wonder if a virus could've caused this? she doesn't seem particularly unwell, but is saying she feels a bit weak.

how likely is it that a sudden heart problem could arise? she is a veru active person. we were skiing last week and she did loads of exercise without difficulty and ate the most I'd ever seen her eat! surely if there was an ongoing heart issue she might struggle with exercise?

thanks esp for the tip to ask for an echo. I didn't know the difference until I googled just now. am I likely to get the ecg result straight away?

NoonarAgain Wed 26-Feb-14 17:42:05

good advice also about the monitor. I hope I don't need to get too pushy. we do have private health insurance, thinking about it...

InSpaceNooneCanHearYouScream Wed 26-Feb-14 20:07:17

Erm I don't think you get the results immediately- they're printed off and then a doctor looks at it. If anything shows up they might get a dr to look at it straightaway. Sudden heart conditions can happen as a result of viruses ( endocarditis, pericarditis) and there is always the possibility of a heart defect like a hole in the heart just now showing symptoms. Lots of young people have undiagnosed heart conditions. But I'm not trying to worry you at all- there is prob absolutely nothing wrong with your daughter at all- but worth checking properly and most heart problems are perfectly treatable.

ClaimedByMe Wed 26-Feb-14 20:15:39

My grandad has had a slow heart rate all his life resting pulse in its 40s, he has lived a full and active life until last year at 79 he finally needed a pace maker and he is as good as new now!

From a different angle has she started puberty yet, could the pains in her chest be her breasts starting to develop?

bouncingbelle Wed 26-Feb-14 23:03:16

IF the ECG shows anything abnormal or if you feel any of your concerns haven't been addressed after the appointment tomorrow, speak to a charity called CRY (cardiac risk in the young) and they will be able to advise you who to go to or what to ask for.

Though here,s hoping it's just been a temporary blip in an otherwise healthy child smile

NoonarAgain Thu 27-Feb-14 14:10:00

ok folks, thanks again. she had the ECG today and it is apparently normal (according to experienced nurse but dr yet to look at it). her heart rate was 64, so slow but not worryingly so. no comment about any irregularity, afaik, but it was dh who attended the apt with her, but I guess they wouldn't have said 'normal' if it had.

do I just accept that the achy feeling in dds chest was unrelated (has now passed) and just draw a line under this? to the poster who suggested puberty...she is small for her age (22nd centile for weight) and not an early developer. thanks for the thought, though.

dd was off school yesterday and did sleep during the day, as I think I mentioned. but then, she had a late night the night before.

as for her claims of feeling slightly weak and light headed... she only mentioned this after the dr's visit but she is a very suggestible little girl and prone to milking the situation with little ailments, so I can't take this as gospel.

I'm thinking we should just leave it now and just watch her closely next time she exercises. does that sound like a plan?

NoonarAgain Thu 27-Feb-14 14:11:32

I really appreciate all the advice. apologies for not acknowledging specific posters in my response/ thanks x

InSpaceNooneCanHearYouScream Thu 27-Feb-14 16:55:35

Why don't you speak to the Cry helpline as mentioned by someone above? Then you'll KNOW you're doing the right thing

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