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USNWR Pulmonology

 

USNWR Cardiology

The Pulmonary Hypertension Clinic at Children’s Mercy uses a team-based approach to help children with pulmonary hypertension receive the best possible care.

If your child’s care team suspects pulmonary hypertension (PH)—increased pressure in the vessels going from the heart to the lungs—they may refer your family to the PH team. This team consists of a pulmonologist, cardiologist, advanced practice nurse, and nurse coordinator who work together to help your family through the challenges of navigating this complex condition.

The pulmonary hypertension team provides consultations and care for Children’s Mercy inpatients as well as regular outpatient clinics and coordination with home care services.

Conditions

We care for children with all types of pulmonary hypertension, including those with PH caused by:

  • Autoimmune disorders

  • Congenital heart conditions

  • Premature birth

  • Genetic disorders

  • Infection

  • Medications

  • Unknown factors

Pulmonary hypertension in children

 

Resources for your family

Many families have found resources from the PHA to be helpful. This organization is also affiliated with the KC Pulmonary Hypertension Support Group.

Symptoms


Symptoms of pulmonary hypertension in children include:

  • Having to work harder to breathe, especially during activity

  • Failing to gain weight appropriately

  • Rapid heart rate

  • Decreased oxygen levels

  • Dizziness or fainting

Diagnosing pulmonary hypertension


Doctors usually diagnose pulmonary hypertension with a thorough ultrasound examination of the heart. In some cases, a cardiac catheterization allows the care team to better evaluate the pressures inside the heart.

Treatment options


Medications that relax the blood vessels going into the lungs can help the right side of the heart pump blood more effectively. These can be taken by mouth, or in some cases, given by infusion through an IV.

Supplemental oxygen, inhalers and steroid medications can also help your child with breathing.

Your designated care team


Whether you first connect with the pulmonary hypertension team when your child is in the hospital or at our outpatient clinic, you will continue to work with the same team going forward. You can reach your team by phone or via the MyChildrensMercy Patient Portal in between visits. In addition, our Child Life, psychologists, social workers, and chaplains are available to provide support to your family whenever you need it.