Swine Flu Guidelines for parents of children/young people with Congenital Heart Disease

In view of recent health announcements regarding the vast increase in swine flu cases in the uk, we have consulted the dept of peadiactric cardiology for advice for parents of congenital heart children. Dr S.Qureshi head of service at Evelina Children’s Hospital, has sent the following guidelines :

The common symtoms of swine flu are : abrupt onset of fever (greater than 38′C) plus two or more of the following :

  • cough and/or runny nose
  • sore throat
  • headache
  • muscle aches and pains
  • feeling very tired and listless
  • diarrhoea or vomiting

A case of swine flu is based on these symtoms even if that person has been swabbed to confirm swine flu.

When we say close “direct contact with a case of swine flu” we mean being within one metre of someone with swine or symtoms for at least one hour.

This would include someone with swine flu symtoms :

  • Who lives with your child
  • In the same class as your child at school or nursery
  • Playing with your child

If your child is in close contact with someone with flu, we advise they should recieve prophylactic (meaning preventative) course of medication called tamiflu (also called Oseltamivir) to reduce the risk of getting flu.

  • Please call your GP to arrange this.
  • Please print a copy of this document and hand it to your GP.
  • Please inform us as soon as possible and we will arrange to send them a letter regarding your child.

The prophylaxis course is a taken once a day for 10 days; the dose is based on a child’s age/size and kidney function.

If your child develops flu symtoms themselves, early treatment should reduce the risk of severe disease or complications. You should contact your GP so that tamiflu can be started immediately at treatment dosage, that is twice daily for 5 days. It is important to understand that tamiflu is only of benefit if given as prophylaxis after close direct contact, or as treatment in people with flu symtoms.

We ask that you maintain a close watch for swine flu symtoms in your child, even if they do not have known contact with swine flu.

You can speak to us over the phone if you have any queries or concerns. If your child needs treatment with tamiflu, do not delay in arranging this through your GP or NHS direct, but you should also let us know.

Contact the Outreach nurses if you have any questions or queries on : 020 7188 4546 (leave a message with your name and telephone number, plus child’s name and date of birth if office unmanned).

Dr Shakeel A Qureshi
Consultant peadiatric cardiologist/head of service
Evelina Childrens Hospital
Guy’s and St Thomas Foundation Trust
Westminster Bridge Road
Phone: 0207 188 4547
Fax: 0207 188 4556

If your child does not go to Evelina then please contact your child’s Cardiologist

Thanks to Kerry Card of HLHS-Awareness.uk.com for sending me this information.


For more information on Swine Flu