Congenital Heart Disease

Congenital Heart Disease

Congenital Heart Disease Awareness Week

This week we raise awareness for Congenital Heart Disease Awareness Week. CHD is defined as an abnormality in the heart structure, existing since birth. Any abnormality since birth is also known as a birth defect. A little less than 1% of the population was born with a congenital heart disease.

The birth defect of the heart structure can appear in many ways. The heart may not properly function as a result of a murmur, blockage of blood vessels and arteries, a hole in the heart, and many other reasons.

Symptoms of Congenital Heart Disease

Heart defects are able to be detected before birth,  or after birth in infancy. Rarely a heart defect will go unnoticed until childhood or adulthood. The Mayo Clinic describes these symptoms as, “pale blue or grey skin, rapid breathing, swelling of the legs, abdomen, around the eyes, shortness of breath during feeds, leading to poor weight gain.” If you think your baby has any of these symptoms or any of the birth defects described in this article, please seek immediate medical attention.

Treatment

Treatment of CHD is dependent based upon the type of CHD a patient has. Types of treatment include surgery, heart transplants, exercise, and medication.

Final Thoughts

Unfortunately, a large part of CHD is genetic. Genetic testing may be beneficial, as well as knowing your family history. Do you know anyone who has/had congenital heart disease? If you are interested in learning more, the month of February is Heart Health Month.

Please consider the American Heart Association if you are looking to make a donation. Organ donation is key to fighting CHD.

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