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Help and support

Consider joining a support group for families with children born with heart defects. Support groups can help parents, families, and carers find answers, connect with other families, and share their hopes and fears with others who are facing similar problems.

Preparing for a doctor’s appointment

If you or your child develop signs and symptoms that are characteristic of a ventricular septal defect, contact your doctor. After the initial checkup, the doctor will probably refer you or your child to a doctor who specializes in the diagnosis and treatment of heart disease (cardiologist).

Here is some information that will help you prepare for the meeting.

What can you do

  • Write down the signs and symptomsthat you or your child have had and for how long.
  • Write down basic medical information, including other health problems, and the names of any medications that you or your child are taking or procedures that you or your child have undergone (including reports).
  • If possible, find a family member or friend who can go with you to the appointment. One of your chaperones can help you remember what the doctor says.
  • Write down the questionsyou need to ask your doctor.

Questions that you should ask your doctor at the initial appointment include:

  • What is probably causing these symptoms?
  • Are there any other possible reasons?
  • What tests are needed?
  • Should I contact a specialist?

If you are referred to a cardiologist, you should ask the following questions:

  • How large is the defect size?
  • What is the risk of complications from this condition?
  • What treatment can a cardiologist recommend?
  • How often should we plan follow-up checkups and examinations?
  • What signs and symptoms should you pay attention to at home?
  • What are the long-term prospects for this condition?
  • Do you recommend dietary or activity restrictions?

Feel free to ask other questions.

What to expect from a doctor

Your doctor may ask a number of questions, including:

If you are diagnosed with dmj:

  • What are the symptoms?
  • When did the symptoms appear?
  • Have your symptoms worsened over time?
  • Do you know about heart problems in your family?
  • Are you being treated or have you recently been treated for other diseases?
  • Are you planning to get pregnant?

If your child has dmjp:

  • Does your child get tired easily during meals or games?
  • Is your child gaining weight?
  • Does your child often breathe or get out of breath when eating or crying?
  • Has your child been diagnosed with other diseases?