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Children and Heart

The common symptoms and signs of heart diseases in children have been summarized in the acronym ABCDEFGHIJO.

  • Activity: Less active, less alert, easy fatigability, exercise intolerance
  • Breathing: fast, difficult, shortness of breath
  • Color: bluish discoloration of tongue, lips, fingers; pale skin
  • Deformity: bulged chest, deformed body organ, congenital anomalies
  • Edema: swelling of face, limbs, body, abdomen
  • Feeding: difficulty in sucking, poor feeding, tired easily
  • Growth: delayed growth and development
  • History of viral infection, diabetes, smoking and intake of drugs, alcohol during pregnancy
  • Infection: recurrent respiratory infection
  • Joint: pain, swelling
  • Others: excessive sweating; visible pulsation on the chest and neck, palpitation; syncope, faintness, seizure, restlessness, irritability, squatting posture, cold extremities, decreased urine, bleeding from nose, obesity, prematurity, malposition, clubbing, routine health check up finding

[Heart disease may present with any one or several of the above symptoms]

Source: Basnet NB (2018) Identification of children’s heart disease in remote areas. Trends Med 18: DOI: 10.15761/TiM.1000146.


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Photograph from the map by Dr. NB Basnet Photograph from the map by Dr. NB BasnetPhotograph from the map by Dr. NB BasnetDeath due to Nepal Earthquake April, 2015