Frequently Asked Questions
Where is the Pediatric Suspected Disease Clinic?
We are located in the 2G Clinic on the second floor of McMaster Children's Hospital in Hamilton, Ontario.
How often do you run clinics?
The number of clinic days depends on the number of referrals we receive. Currently, we run one clinic every two weeks. We hope to increase to a weekly clinic in the future.
How old do you need to be to attend the clinic?
We see children of all ages - from birth to 18 years of age.
How do I get a referral?
Please request a referral from your healthcare proivider (ex. family doctor/pediatrician) prior to booking an appointment.
What conditions do you treat?
Sometimes children have symptoms that make us think they may have a heart problem. However, attending our clinic does not mean your child has something wrong with his or her heart. In fact, most children referred to us have nomral hearts! Your healthcare provider is taking extra care by referring your child to us so that we can simply 'take another listen'.
Examples of why children come to see us:
- Murmurs: a noise that blood makes when it flows through the heart
- Syncope: fainting episodes
- Chest Pain and Palpitations: skipped heart beats, heart fluttering or pounding
What treatments/therapies are provided?
A questionnaire will be emailed or mailed to families 3-4 weeks before the appointment. During your visit, we will clarify any issues in the questionnaire, examine your child and perfrom an electrocardiogram (EKG).
Usually, that is all that is necessary to reassure parents and children. Sometimes, we will take further action such as schedule other investigations, plan more treatments, suggest modifications in lifestyle and arrange for follow-up appointments.
What should I do if my baby has a murmur?
First, go see your pediatrician. If he or she has any doubt about the nature of the murmur you may be asked to see a pediatric cardiologist. However, this does not necessarily mean there is cause for greater concern.
We do not recommend scheduling an echocardiogram in a centre that is not certified to perform pediatric echocardiograms as these studies are often incomplete.
Also, if the test shows anything 'abnomral' this may result in repeat echocardiograms in a pediatric centre - thus resulting in further stress on your child and your family.
My child is fainting. Is this serious? What can we do about it?
These cases must be carefully assesed, however, most are not serious. We often support family doctors, pediatricians, or other medical specialists to determine the best course of action.