Vagal Maneuvers in Children

The vagus nerve is a nerve in the body that can affect the heart rate. When it is stimulated, the heart rate can slow down. Certain maneuvers, called vagal maneuvers, are designed to stop the SVT by stimulating the vagus nerve.

For older children, vagal maneuvers include:

  • “Bearing down”: pretending as if you are having a bowel movement - blowing on your thumb
  • Doing a headstand, if you already know how to do one.
  • Putting very cold water/ice on your face

For babies or young children who can’t follow these directions, vagal maneuvers include:

  • Place an ice pack over the eyes for 15-30 sec. A frozen bag of vegetables works really well.  Avoid placing anything around the infant’s nose.
  • Pressing the infant’s knees to the chest for 15-30 seconds

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Pediatrics and Congenital Heart Disease (CHD)
This section is for pediatric patients and families living with heart rhythm disorders and heart rhythm disorders related to congenital heart disease (CHD).
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If you are experiencing a racing, pounding, rumbling or flopping feeling in your chest or if you have been fainting, having repeated dizzy spells, feeling lightheaded or you are extremely fatigued, it's time to see a doctor to discuss your heart health.
Common Treatments
Learning about the underlying cause of any heart rhythm disorder provides the basis for selecting the best treatment plan. Information and knowledge about care options, and their risks and benefits help you work with your health care provider to make the best choices.
Lifestyle
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The Normal Heart
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