Pediatric Cardiology Consultation - The first office visit, or consultation, is usually made upon the recommendation from your child's doctor. The consultation includes a thorough history and cardiac examination and any tests that the cardiologist feels that are necessary such as electrocardiogram (ECG), or echocardiogram. The cardiologist will spend time with you and your child in the office explaining the diagnosis and answering your questions. Sometimes no treatment or follow-up is needed. In other cases, understanding a heart problem in your child is a difficult and trying task. Please be assured that the cardiologist will spend as much time as is necessary to answer your questions. If a repeat visit is recommended, an appointment can usually be arranged before leaving the office. Your cardiologist will write a comprehensive report and send it to your child's primary doctor. We often have Albany Medical College students and residents participating in the evaluation. Electrocardiogram (ECG) - An ECG records the electrical activity of the heart on graph paper. It is usually done prior to seeing your cardiologist. It gives information about the rhythm of the heart, the size of the chambers of the heart and the amount of blood going to the heart muscle itself. An ECG is a painless test and takes only a few minutes to complete. It is performed by placing small sensors (electrodes) on the patient’s chest, wrists, and ankles. The most accurate ECG is obtained while the patient is lying quietly on the examination table. Echocardiogram - An echo is a non-invasive, painless ultrasound test useful to visualize the anatomy and function of the heart. The test is performed with the patient lying on an exam table. Sometimes, babies can be kept in their parent's arms. An echocardiogram machine is a computer that uses a hand-held probe, or transducer, with a gel-like substance placed over the patient’s heart. The transducer sends and receives sound waves creating a moving picture of the heart, which is viewed on a television screen. This enables us to look at the actual structure of the heart and identify any holes or valve abnormalities and assess how well the heart is functioning. To improve the quality of the picture on the screen, the echocardiogram is done in a dimly lit room. We offer movies that your child can watch to distract them during the test. An echocardiogram lasts approximately 15 to 30 minutes. Parents may remain with their child during the test. Event Monitor - An event monitor is a small device used to record abnormalities of the heart's rate or rhythm. It is used when a patient’s symptoms occur infrequently. It is the size of a beeper or iPod. The device will be mailed to your home after your visit. It is carried with the patient in a bag or pocket and when symptoms occur it is placed on the chest for 30-60 seconds. The device records the ECG pattern, which is eventually transmitted to us by phone. An event monitor is used at home for one month. Pulse Oximetry - This is a small probe that is wrapped around a finger or toe to measure the oxygen saturation of a patient’s blood. It is painless and easy to use.