Key Facts About Congenital Heart Defects - Blog



Key Facts About Congenital Heart Defects

March 26, 2024 | Contributed by Rubiya Bano

The more I get to know, the more I feel so less I know.

There are so many things around us that we are unaware of. Our exposure to certain domains can be limited and health being a technical one, we are not very aware about things until and unless we pursue them academically, to an extent by our interest and at times when we have real life experiences.

Congenital Heart Defect treatment for children is one such area. A Congenital Heart Defect (CHD) is one of the most common type of birth defect among children. About 1 in every 4 babies are born with a Congenital Heart Defect, most of which are critical in nature and thus, called critical CHD’s. Babies having critical CHD require medical intervention, surgery, or other procedures, within the first year of their life to be able to survive. CHD is responsible for a significant proportion of infant mortality in many parts of the world.

According to the Centre for Disease Control and Prevention- “Congenital Heart Defects (CHDs) are conditions that are present at the birth and can affect the structure of a baby’s heart and the way it works.”

Types of Congenital Heart Defects

CHD is not one defect but represents a range of defects. They range from simple ones with no symptoms to complex conditions which may demand immediate medical intervention to save life. The different types are mentioned below:

  1. Atrial Septal Defect
  2. Atrioventricular Septal Defect
  3. Coarctation of Aorta
  4. Double Outlet Right Ventricle
  5. D-Transportation of Great Arteries
  6. Ebstein Anomaly
  7. Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome
  8. Interrupted Aortic Heart
  9. Pulmonary Atresia
  10. Single Ventricle
  11. Tetralogy of Fallot
  12. Total Anomalous Pulmonary Venous Return
  13. Tricuspid Atresia
  14. Truncus Arteriosus
  15. Ventricular Septal Defect
  16. Vascular Rings
  17. Truncus Arteriosus

Symptoms and Causes of Congenital Heart Defects

CHD is quiet a technical term for a layman and many of them know it simply by something that refers to a hole in a heart. Thus, understanding of the symptoms of CHD may initiate early action or referrals on the part of the families. Some of the most common and explicitly visible symptoms of CHD are rapid breathing, rapid heartbeat, easy fatiguability, bluish discoloration of the skin, poor feeding, poor weight gain, developmental delays, and Murmur. In mild cases these symptoms may not be that visible and may have late presentation, but in critical cases, children start showing early signs of CHD. Congenital heart defect treatment for children depends on the severity and complexity of the defect.

The next important dimension to look at is the causes of CHD. Though the causes of CHD in most of the causes cannot be ascertained with precision but some of the most common causes of CHD are related to genetic mutations, environmental causes, nutrition related factors of mother during pregnancy and some of the causes still remain unknown. Apart from the genetic mutations, other factors can be regulated to an extent by providing a healthy environment and nutritious diet to mother during pregnancy. Availing heath services like intake of Folic, calcium, periodic ANC’s can also help in ensuring a healthy mother and baby.

Finally, after knowing the basics about the CHD, comes the treatment of CHD. The CHD can be treated in one of the three ways:

  1. Medication: In certain cases, medication can help manage symptoms and improve heart function.
  2. Catheter Procedures: Minimally invasive techniques, such as catheter-based procedures, can repair heart defects without the need for open-heart surgery.
  3. Surgical Intervention: Complex Congenital Heart Defects may require surgery for repair or to replace damaged heart structures.

With advancement in medical science and technology, children can be treated for CHD and can lead a normal and healthy life at par with their peers. But awareness about it and its possible treatment is essential in order to set families in action. As a children heart foundation, we have been working extensively to build awareness about the symptoms of the condition on different platforms. Increased awareness enables a timely diagnosis and treatment.

Help is spread awareness about this condition so that together we can help many children get a chance at life. Share the link to this blog to help spread information.

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