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Having an echocardiogram

What is an echo?

Echocardiograms (echo) are one of the most frequently used scans for diagnosing heart problems. An echo is an ultrasound scan of the heart.

An echo lets us evaluate the structure, function and blood flow through the heart. Your child will need to lie very still for the scan so it can be helpful to practice doing this at home beforehand.

On the day you will be asked to take your top off (you can keep a wireless bra on) and the healthcare professional with put some gel on your chest and then use a probe to look at your heart and take some photos. It can take up to 20 minutes so please bring distractions for young children.

There are no risks associated with having an echo and it is completely painless.

Having an echo

Widgit of echocardiodiagram

An echo shows us how blood is flowing through your heart. This helps the doctors decide how to look after you.

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Your parent or carer can come into the room with you. They can stay for the test too.

Widgit of taking top off

You will need to take your top off.

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We will put some jelly on your chest. This will feel a bit cold.

Widgit of do not move

We need you to stay very still. We will put a probe on the jelly to take the echo pictures. This will not hurt.

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When we have enough pictures, we will wipe off the tissue. And then you can move again.

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If you are not having any other tests, you can go home.

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We will send a report of the scan to your doctors.

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Please ask us if you have any questions.

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Please note: this is a generic information sheet relating to care at Sheffield Children’s NHS FT. These details may not reflect treatment at other hospitals. This information is not intended as a substitute for professional medical care. Always follow your healthcare professionals’ instructions. If this resource relates to medicines, please read it alongside the medicine manufacturer’s patient information leaflet. If this information has been translated into another language from English, efforts have been made to maintain accuracy, but there may still be some translation errors. If you are unsure about any of the guidance in this resource or have specific questions about how it relates to your child, always ask your healthcare professional for further advice.

Resource number: CRD19

Resource Type: Article

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We’ve got a special MRI scanner just for teddies so children can see what it’s like before they have a scan.

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