Eduardo Has an Echocardiogram

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Eduardo with his parents
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Hi! I'm Eduardo. I just had a test called an "echo." It helped my doctor learn more about my heart. I wasn't sure what the test would be like. But it was fine! Here's what happened.

Eduardo imagines his heart with strong muscles
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When mom and dad said I needed to have a heart test, I was confused.

"Is it like a spelling test?" I asked.

They told me it was more like a test in PE at school.

My dad said, "You know how Ms. Archer tests you to see how many push-ups you can do in a row? She's looking at how your arm muscles help lift you up and down. This test will look at how your heart muscle pumps your blood. All you have to do for the test is lie very still and be very quiet."

That sounded okay, and a lot easier than doing push-ups!

Jeff tells Eduardo about the heart test
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Mom and Dad took me to the doctor's office. I met a nice man named Jeff.

"Hi Eduardo," he said. "I'm going to give you a heart test today called an echocardiogram. We call it an ‘echo' for short."

Jeff told me that his job was to take a picture of my heart for my doctor to look at.

"But don't worry," Jeff said. "I have a tool that takes pictures using sound. It lets us take pictures of things inside your body even if we can't see them from the outside. We can even take a short video and look at the inside of your heart too. And it doesn't hurt a bit!"

Eduardo lies on the bed while Jeff shows him the computer with wires on it
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Well, that sounded pretty neat. I was ready to see what my heart picture would look like.

Jeff took us back to a room that had a tall bed in it. There was also a computer with wires and things on it.

Jeff told me that the room had to stay kind of dark so he could see the screen. I had to take off my shirt and lie down. My main job was to stay still and quiet so Jeff could see and hear.

Jeff presses the camera wand onto Eduardo's chest
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Jeff put small stickers on my chest. He told me they help check on how my heart is beating. Then he rubbed some cold wet stuff on my chest and smoothed it out with a camera wand. When Jeff pressed the wand down on my chest, I could hear my heart making "woosh woosh" sounds. Then he typed on the computer to make the wand take pictures.

"Say cheese!" I thought to my heart.

A picture of Eduardo's heart on the computer screen
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The pictures didn't really look like regular pictures. They looked kind of gray and blobby. Like this!

Once, Jeff asked me to hold my breath for a little bit. And once I had to roll from my back to my side. But that was easy.

Eduardo watches cartoons while Jeff moves the camera wand
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My mom and dad got to stay with me the whole time. And when I started to get bored, I got to put on headphones and watch some of my favorite cartoons.

Jeff said I did a great job staying super quiet and still during the test.

Eduardo holds his heart picture
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When the test was over, I got a piece of paper with my heart picture on it. I can't wait to show it to Ms. Archer at school and tell her about my heart test. I wonder if she knows that hearts are muscles too!

That's Eduardo's story. Now that you know what his echo was like, you'll be ready when it's time for yours. What could help you stay very still while the test happens? Can you think of any questions you have about the test?

The Health Encyclopedia contains general health information. Not all treatments or services described are covered benefits for Kaiser Permanente members or offered as services by Kaiser Permanente. For a list of covered benefits, please refer to your Evidence of Coverage or Summary Plan Description. For recommended treatments, please consult with your health care provider.