Introduction and aim Cardiac murmurs are reported in 50–90% of children at some time in their life, but only 1% are pathological. It is widely questioned whether performing echocardiograms on these children with asymptomatic murmurs is cost-effective or not. We designed this study to survey parents of children who had echocardiograms for asymptomatic heart murmurs which then proved to be benign.
Methods All new referrals for ‘asymptomatic heart murmurs’ to the paediatric cardiac clinic, run by a paediatrician with cardiology expertise, over a one-year period were reviewed. The parents of children with normal echocardiograms were requested to answer a questionnaire that elicited their experience of the echocardiogram and its impact on their concerns. Permission for this study was obtained, and consent sought from contacted parents.
Results 166 new patients attended the clinic during the study period, 67/166 were for asymptomatic heart murmurs. 58/67 of these patients had normal echoes. Among the 58patients, 51 were contacted by telephone for the survey (Table 1). None of these children had any repeat consultations for the murmur, and parents were convinced that the echo gave them the reassurance that they badly needed. See table.
Conclusions Our study concluded echocardiograms provide parents with a satisfactory conclusion to the consultation. This may be a cost-effective method in reducing repeat consultations for the same concerns.
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