Myocarditis is defined as inflammation of the myocardium followed by necrosis and/or degeneration of myocytes.11,33 The inflammation can be diffuse or focal and is usually due to an infection.

Although myocarditis severe enough to be recognized is rare, it is the most common cause of heart failure in otherwise healthy children.44 In both children and adults, most cases are subclinical; thus, the true incidence of myocarditis in children is unknown.22,55,77 Unfortunately, the clinical features of myocarditis can vary widely, and often no cardiac signs or symptoms occur, complicating recognition. For children in whom the diagnosis is suspected or cardiovascular compromise is severe enough to require admission to the pediatric intensive care unit (PICU), critical care nurses are an essential component in determining...

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