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Cardiac home monitoring program

What is the home monitoring program?

This program was designed for babies with shunt dependent heart disease to optimize health and maximize survival rates between their first and second palliative surgeries.

 Why does my child need a home monitoring program?

Your child needs close monitoring of weight gain and oxygen saturation levels to help detect early signs of changing cardiac status.

What equipment do I need?

  • Infant scale
  • Pulse oximeter
  • Record forms for:
    • Weight
    • Saturations
    • Observed clinical changes

What are the goals for the program?

The goal is to have the saturations greater than 70% while your child is calm, and a weight gain of a minimum of 30 grams over a 3-day period.

When should I call the doctor?

Contact your cardiologist if your child has any of the following:

  • Oxygen saturations are less than 70% while your child is calm
  • Gains less than 30 grams over a 3 day period.

When will nursing visits take place?

Home nursing visits will be set up for the following time frames:

  • Two times a week for two weeks after discharge (First visit within 48 hours of discharge)
  • Once every other week or more frequently if concerns or questions arise

When should I call for help?

If you have concerns that cannot be addressed by home nursing, call the Children’s Heart Clinic at (612) 813-8800 and tell them your child is a home monitoring program patient. You will reach the cardiology team at this number 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

What else do I need to know?

Call 911 immediately if your child has any of the following:

  • Breathing very fast
  • Using chest wall muscles
  • Struggling to breathe
  • Cold extremities, mottled skin
  • Lethargy
  • You feel he or she is really not well

Then call the nurse practitioner or cardiologist to let them know that you are on the way to the hospital by calling 612-813-8800.

Last reviewed by 8/2015

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This page is not specific to your child, but provides general information on the topic above. If you have any questions, please call your clinic. For more reading material about this and other health topics, please call or visit Children's Minnesota Family Resource Center library, or visit

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