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An echocardiogram is an ultrasound of the heart. An echocardiogram is a test that helps check the structure and function of the heart. The test uses sound waves to create a picture of the heart. An echocardiogram is also called an echo.
An echocardiogram may be done to check for any problems with the heart. An echocardiogram may be done to:
The test may be done in a hospital, medical clinic or doctor’s office. It usually takes 20–45 minutes.
Being prepared for a test or procedure can reduce anxiety, increase cooperation and help the child develop coping skills. Parents and caregivers can help prepare children by explaining to them what will happen, including what they will see, feel and hear during the test.
The preparation you can provide for an echocardiogram depends on the age and experience of the child. See the following for more age-specific information on helping children cope with tests and treatment.
The Canadian Cancer Society is actively lobbying the federal government to establish a national caregivers strategy to ensure there is more financial support for this important group of people.