Children’s Heart Center at Randall Children’s Hospital

Randall Children's Hospital

The pediatric cardiology center at Randall Children’s Hospital boasts a state-of-the-art medical facility with a full team of cardiology specialists who are focused on providing their young patients with the best care possible. The Randall Children’s Hospital in Portland, Oregon prides itself on offering the best treatment for their young patients, with a team of individuals focused on cardiology, surgical procedures, and other aspects of a child’s development that can all come together to ensure that they get the playful, healthy life they deserve.

Read more: Children’s Heart Center at Randall Children’s Hospital

What Is Pediatric Arrhythmia?


An arrhythmia is when a heart beats irregularly. The condition can cause the heart to beat too quickly, too slowly or unevenly. If your child's doctor finds an arrhythmia, they may recommend diagnostic tests or refer you to a pediatric cardiologist.

Heart rate measures a heart’s beats per minute. A child's resting heart rate is around 70. Infants' hearts beat about 140 times per minute. Heart rhythms are ordinarily regular, though they speed and slow during different activities. 

An arrhythmia can be present at birth or develop later. Sometimes an irregular heartbeat doesn't have symptoms. Doctors often find the problem during routine exams. If your child's pediatrician notices an arrhythmia, they will evaluate her medical history. Report health concerns to your doctor during the exam.

How Are Arrhythmias Treated?

We have various therapies for our patients with irregular heart beats. The recommended treatment depends on the patient's condition. Here are some of the therapies pediatric cardiologists recommend for children with an arrhythmia:


We can treat some disorders with drugs. Tachycardias, a condition where the heart beats too fast, may be improved with medication. Medicine doesn't cure an arrhythmia but may prevent or shorten an episode of irregular beats.

If your child's physician prescribes a drug, your child may need to take a dose every day or she may need it only when her heart beats abnormally. Some patients begin drug treatment in a hospital where they can be monitored for side effects. A doctor may need to prescribe several drugs before finding the right medication.

Radiofrequency Ablation

Serious arrhythmias may require more than medication. A physician may recommend a permanent remedy if a child's condition is life-threatening. A radiofrequency catheter ablation is a non-invasive procedure. The pediatric cardiologist uses several catheters to change the part of the heart that causes the irregularity.


Physicians treat some patients with open surgery. The surgeon will alter the heart to interrupt the abnormal connection causing the problem.

Artificial Pacemaker

An artificial pacemaker can improve some types of irregularities. A pacemaker is a small device that helps the heart beat regularly. Cardiologists implant pacemakers inside a child's abdomen or next to the chest wall, connecting it to the heart with a thin wire. The pacemaker sends electricity to the heart to help it beat. The current does not hurt. 

Pacemakers are prescribed most often for a low heart rate. A child with a pacemaker must visit a cardiologist regularly for checkups. Children with these devices are usually able to engage in normal activities though your pediatric cardiologist may advise against contact sports.

 Your Pediatric Cardiology Resource

Pediatric Cardiology of Oregon treats children who have heart problems. We have offices in Portland, Oregon and outreach locations in Oregon and Southwest Washington. Contact us for an appointment here.

Pediatric Cardiologist First Visits and How to Prepare

First visit to pediatric cardiologist

New patients come to us when a primary care physician notices something that needs evaluation by a pediatric cardiologist. Your child's doctor may have heard a heart murmur. Or, perhaps your son or daughter needs a special test.

Whatever the reason for your first appointment, you'll likely have many questions. We'll do our best to provide you with answers. It's natural to feel anxious the first time you and your child visit a pediatric cardiologist.

Read more: Pediatric Cardiologist First Visits and How to Prepare

Study: Energy drinks dangerous for those with heart conditions

energy drinks study

With more than 500 different products on the market, energy drinks are an increasingly popular choice for teens and young adults. However, researchers say energy drinks can have harmful effects on heart function and blood pressure, especially for those with pre-existing heart conditions.  

Read more: Study: Energy drinks dangerous for those with heart conditions

6 Things to Know About Your Child's Pacemaker

A pediatric cardiologist might recommend a pacemaker if your child has a heart defect that prevents their heart from beating normally.

Doctors at Pediatric Cardiology Center of Oregon can evaluate your child for heart rhythm disorders and care for those who have a pacemaker. Dr. Marc D. LeGras, who joined our group in 1996, specializes in conditions treated with a pacemaker. Our physicians treat patients who need a pediatric cardiologist in Portland. We also work in locations around Oregon and Southwest Washington. Please contact us for more information about making an appointment for your child.

6 of hearts

1. What Is a Pacemaker?

A pacemaker is an electronic device. Surgeons implant them under the skin. The pacemaker regulates an abnormal heart rate or rhythm. A battery provides power. The device monitors the heart's natural electrical signal and can also send a signal to aid the heart to beat properly.


The surgeon might position a pacemaker for an infant or child under the skin near the abdomen. There, fatty tissue offers protection from the rough and tumble of a child's activities. Pacemakers for teens and adults are usually placed near the collarbone.

2. How Do Doctors Monitor a Pacemaker?

After inserting a pacemaker, pediatric cardiologists check your child thoroughly and continue to monitor the pacemaker during office visits. During checks, the cardiologist may take an x-ray or perform other tests. Parents can also check the pacemaker from home. The pacemaker keeps a record that you can send to doctors by phone or over the internet. Your doctor will make sure you understand how to check the pacemaker remotely.

3. Can My Child Play Normally With a Pacemaker?

Many children with pacemakers live a normal, healthy life. Restrictions depend on your child's health. Most kids with heart defects that are being managed by a cardiologist can play, take gym class and participate sports. Your pediatrician may recommend avoiding contact sports. Many other physical activities, such as soccer, swimming, bicycling and more are enjoyed by kids with pacemakers.

4. How Long Does a Pacemaker's Battery Last?

The battery will last for years as will the pacemaker itself. Battery life depends on whether the pacemaker makes each heartbeat or only needs to make a beat periodically. A low battery will show during regularly scheduled checks.

5. What Devices Interfere With a Pacemaker?

Your child's heart doctor will provide you with information about devices that could interfere with a pacemaker. Pacemaker technology has advanced, and things that used to interfere with the devices, such a microwave ovens, today are safe. Your cardiologist will advise you about what types of machinery to avoid.

6. Can My Child go Through a Metal Detector?

Yes, it's OK to pass through a metal detector. If the detector sounds an alarm, inform security that your child has a pacemaker.  Don't allow security personnel to pass the detector wand over the pacemaker. Make sure your child wears a medical bracelet that indicates they have an implanted device.


What is an echocardiogram?


echocardiogram pediatric cardiology

When you’ve been told there’s something abnormal with your child’s heart, just about the only thing you’re thinking about is finding out the cause of the abnormality and treating it as soon as possible. There is a multitude of heart-related medical tests to narrow down possible ailments, but one of the least invasive and effective procedures is called an echocardiogram.  

Read more: What is an echocardiogram?

Help Kids Overcome Their Fear of Doctor Visits

smiling childNo matter how kind and welcoming a doctor’s office is, it can be a pretty scary place for your little ones. Some children associate a medical office with needle pricks, scary noises, strange sights and weird smells. If your child is afraid of going to see the doctor, here are some ways that you can help your kids overcome their fear.

Read more: Help Kids Overcome Their Fear of Doctor Visits

Using 3D-printed hearts as surgical practice

3d printed hearts practice for heart surgeonsThe most common birth defects in the world are unfortunately some of the most dangerous to babies. Congenital heart defects affect about 40,000 babies in the U.S. and Canada. The procedures to repair heart defects can range from simple to incredibly complex and potentially dangerous. However, Toronto’s Hospital for Sick Children has an idea for how to practice delicate heart surgeries before opening up a baby’s chest.

Read more: Using 3D-printed hearts as surgical practice

What is congenital heart disease?

congenital heart disease common questionsCongenital heart disease is found in 8 out of every 1,000 newborn babies every year, and close to one million adults live with mild to severe congenital heart disease in the United States today. Congenital heart disease (also called a congenital heart defect), can present a range of symptoms, from fatigue and poor respiration to heart failure.

With the advances in modern medicine, however, congenital heart defects are easier to detect than ever, and can be treated through medication, internal stents, or open heart surgery. In some mild cases, the congenital heart defects will repair themselves or do not cause enough of an issue to need treatment.

Read more: What is congenital heart disease?