Additional treatment for a child with a congenital heart defect

Caring for your child with a congenital heart defect may involve many different types of therapy in addition to medicines and surgery. Some of these may include:

  • Oxygen therapy. Your child may need extra oxygen at home. It is given through a small tube that rests at the entrance to your child's nose. Oxygen can cause a fire to burn very rapidly, so no smoking or open flames are allowed in the room where oxygen is being used. The amount of oxygen will be prescribed by your child's doctor. Do not change the amount of oxygen you give your child without the advice of your doctor.
  • Home health nursing. If your child is very ill and needs several treatments and medicines, talk to your doctor about having a home health nurse visit you. A home health nurse can help you understand the treatments your child needs and teach you how to give medicines to your child.
  • Family counseling. Coping with a child who has a lifelong illness impacts the entire family. If you feel that you or your family needs help dealing with the condition, talk with a health professional about counseling.
  • Nutrition counseling. Getting a child with a congenital heart defect to eat can be difficult at times. Talk with your health professional about nutrition counseling.
  • Vocational counseling. If your teen with a congenital heart defect has restrictions or is on medicines because of this condition, vocational counseling may be helpful when planning a career. Talk with a health professional or the school counselor for information.

Last Updated: October 12, 2009

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