Cardiomyopathy is when the heart muscle becomes weak and enlarged, which makes
it hard to pump blood through the body. There are many types of cardiomyopathies.
Some make the heart muscle thicker, while others stretch the heart muscle thinner.
As a result, the heart muscle doesn't work as well.
Most of the time, the cause of the cardiomyopathy isn't known. Cardiomyopathy can
run in families or happen as a result of infections, nutritional deficiencies, or
If it's not treated, cardiomyopathy can lead to a life-threatening arrhythmia (irregular
heartbeat), heart valve problems, blood clots, and heart failure. Cardiomyopathy is
the top reason for heart transplants in kids and teens.
Signs and symptoms associated with cardiomyopathy include:
being very tired after normal activity
chest pain or discomfort
dizziness, lightheadedness, or fainting
shortness of breath
Students with cardiomyopathy might need to:
take medications to reduce symptoms
visit the school nurse to take medications
have seating closest to a bathroom if they take blood pressure medicine that causes
be smaller than their peers, making them a target for bullying
Schools might be required to have cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) training
and have an easy-to-access automated external defibrillator (AED).
What Teachers Can Do
Support students with cardiomyopathy by encouraging them to join in all classroom
activities, making changes as needed. They might need special considerations for missed
instruction time, assignments, and testing.
Ask about any doctor-recommended restrictions before having students with cardiomyopathy
do physical activities. Usually, they're encouraged to get modest exercise. Watch
for symptoms that need quick medical care, including trouble breathing, chest pain,
fainting, or a rapid or irregular heartbeat.
Teachers should know CPR and also know about emergency care plans in case of a