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Congestive heart failure in children is unusual as a presenting problem, and the nonspecific nature of the signs and symptoms in the pediatric population makes recognition difficult. Congenital heart disease is most common in the infant whereas older children most commonly develop congestive heart failure due to cardiomyopathy, myocarditis, electrolyte abnormalities, dysrhythmias, and, more rarely, endocarditis, and rheumatic carditis.
Management focuses upon stabilization of the airway and ventilation while improving circulatory function. This is achieved by the use of inotropic agents, combined with attention to the volume and pressure overload, pulmonary problems, dysrhythmias, and ongoing follow-up.
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Accepted: June 15, 1986
Received: May 13, 1986
© 1986 Published by Elsevier Inc.