Pediatric Cardiology

The Children’s Heart Center of Central Oregon specializes in diagnosing and treating pediatric heart conditions, from before birth and into adulthood. We care for all types of heart issues, from the most simple to the most complex, including congenital heart defects, acquired heart conditions, genetic disorders, and heart rhythm abnormalities.

Our goal is to provide the best possible care and outcomes for our patients.

Common Reasons to be Referred to us

These are some of the more common symptoms or findings that lead to pediatric cardiology referral, and do not necessarily mean there is a heart problem.


A heart murmur is an extra sound that your doctor can hear when listening to the heart. Although being told that your child has a heart murmur can be scary, murmurs can also be normal. Murmurs can also be due to a heart defect like a hole in the heart or a valve abnormality. Listening carefully to the heart, performing an EKG and in some cases an echocardiogram (an ultrasound of the heart), will help tell the difference. If a murmur is found to be due to a structural heart problem, the pediatric cardiologist can determine if any treatment is needed.

Abnormalities in the heart’s electrical system can cause feelings of a racing or irregular heartbeat. Sometimes, they can also cause fainting or other symptoms. Some heart rhythm abnormalities are benign, while others need treatment with medications or specialized procedures. Because heart rhythm symptoms are not necessarily present when a person goes to the doctor, monitors called ambulatory monitors can be used at home to find a diagnosis.
High Blood Pressure
There are many possible causes for hypertension in children. These include being overweight, genetics, kidney disorders, and less commonly a congenital heart defect. Children who have had hypertension for a long time can also develop changes in their heart muscle which help tell us that it is time for treatment to lower the blood pressure. Some children with hypertension are seen in the Preventive Clinic, where a dietician discusses lifestyle changes that may be helpful.
These are abnormalities in the structure of the heart that are present at birth. Sometimes these are detected in babies, but other times they are not diagnosed until a child is older. Many heart defects are mild and do not need treatment. Others are more significant, and require medication or interventional procedures like surgery. Pediatric heart surgery is not available in Central Oregon, so if a child needs heart surgery, they are referred to a children’s hospital with special expertise in pediatric heart surgery and postoperative care.
Chest pain is very common in children, but in most cases is not dangerous. Your child’s primary care provider can determine when further heart evaluation is needed, for example if chest pain is happening with exercise, or if it is associated with other symptoms like fainting, shortness of breath, or a racing heart.
Cardiac Clearance for Sports
We offer sports clearance examinations for children when required to play in sports activities. Cardiac sports clearance is especially important in children with concerning symptoms, a heart abnormality, or a family history of heart problems. We also provide sports clearance after Covid-19 infection, including follow-up for children with MIS-C (multisystem inflammatory syndrome in children).
Many heart conditions can have a genetic component. These can include disorders of the heart muscle (cardiomyopathies), heart rhythm problems (like long QT syndrome), congenital heart defects (like bicuspid aortic valve), or connective tissue problems (like Marfan syndrome). Also, children with genetic syndromes like Turner syndrome, Down syndrome, and others are at increased risk for heart defects and therefore should be screened. Screening for many such heart conditions can be accomplished using testing like echocardiography, EKG, and genetic testing.
Fainting is also very common in children, and is usually not dangerous unless it causes injury. Although fainting can be related to a heart problem such as an electrical disturbance, in most cases it is due to changes in blood pressure or heart rate, such as in postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome (POTS) or vasovagal syncope (the “common” faint). Usually, this type of fainting can be treated with dietary or lifestyle changes, although medication is also available.

Patient Resources

Please scroll down for more information on common pediatric cardiology topics, links to helpful websites, and information about specialized pediatric cardiology clinics.

Offsite Links


The Children’s Heart Center of Central Oregon offers specialized clinics for fetal cardiology and preventive cardiology (including prediabetes).

We collaborate closely with pediatric electrophysiology specialists in Portland to provide the best care for our patients with arrhythmias and pacemakers.

We also work closely with adult congenital heart disease specialists in Portland as our patients with congenital heart disease transition to adulthood.

Neurodevelopmental follow-up is an important component of ongoing care for children with congenital heart disease. This service is provided by the PEDAL clinic at St. Charles Medical Center.


Children who need cardiac surgery or a cardiac cath will travel outside of Central Oregon for their interventional procedure. We will help coordinate that care, depending on where our patient will be best served. Our team will care for our patients before and after their procedure, so families don’t need to travel outside the area for follow-up care. The Children’s Heart Fund is available to provide additional financial support.