A congenital heart defect (CHD) is seen in the structure of the heart and the great vessels of a new born. Mostly all the cardiac diseases obstruct the flow of blood in the heart or the blood vessels or lead to improper flow of blood through the heart. Congenital Heart Disease can describe a number of different ways that can affect the heart. About 35,000 are born each year with some type of Congenital Defect. Many of these defects need to be carefully monitored. Some heal over time while some may require surgery.
Although the cause for the defect is unknown, there are certain conditions that can possibly lead to an increased risk of a child being born with Congenital Heart Defect. These include:
- Congenital Heart Disease in child’s mother or father.
- Congenital Heart Disease in child’s brother or sister.
- Diabetes in mother.
- Mother’s use of alcohol during pregnancy.
- Intake of certain drugs by mother.
- HIV infection in mother.
There are various types of Congenital Heart Diseases. They are:
- Atrial Septal Defect (ASD)
- Ventricular Septal Defect (VSD)
- Atrioventricular Canal Defect
- Patent Ductus Arteriosis
- Aortic Stenosis
- Pulmonary Stenosis
- Ebstein’s Malformation
- Coarctation of Aorta
- Tetralogy of Fallot
- Tricuspid Atresia
- Pulmonary Atresia
Symptoms are related to the types of the disease. Some children may show no signs while some may show shortness of breath, Cyanosis (Bluish grey discoloration of the skin due to lack of oxygen in blood), chest pain, Syncope ( temporary loss of consciousness and posture), sweating, Heart murmur (extra sound produced as a result of turbulent blood flow), respiratory infections, under development of the limbs and muscles, poor feeding or growth and fluid build up in lungs.
Treatment is not necessary in all the Congenital Diseases. Some improve by itself while others are too small a defect to be treated. Severe type of CHD need surgery and medications.Diuretics and Digoxin are the commonly used medications.Diuretics helps to eliminate the fluid from the body of the child and Digoxin helps in strengthening the contraction of heart. Some defects require surgical procedures to be carried out. There may also arise a need to carry out more than one surgery.