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Congenital Heart Disease
May 2019

Congenital Heart Disease

While birth is a beautiful part of our lives, it often comes with some tiny troubles too. Congenital Heart Defect (CHD) is one such condition that many people are born with. ‘Congenital’ meaning, existing at birth. Medically, Congenital Heart Defects can be referred to as one or more abnormalities of the heart muscle. The condition occurs due to the malformation of the heart chambers, valves, arteries and veins which impair the blood circulation in the body. In other words, this disease affects the heart’s ability to function efficiently. Nonetheless, advancements in the medical industry have introduced a wide range of diagnosis and treatment options, cardiology being one of the most sensitive areas of medicine. Individuals with CHD are fragile since birth and their problems only tend to scale up with age.

Causes At A Glance

While there’s no specific reason, a congenital heart defect is often caused by a combination of genetic and environmental factors. A mother’s diet, health and medication during pregnancy play a vital role in this. Some of the common causes include the following: • Obesity

• Poorly controlled pre-existing diabetes • Infections during pregnancy such as Rubella

• Taking anti seizures or acne medicines during pregnancy

• Smoking or alcohol consumption during pregnancy

• Chromosomal defects due to hereditary

Treatment Protocol

Not everyone with a congenital heart defect needs treatment. A regular visit to the doctor, being under constant observation and adapting to a healthy lifestyle can certainly help an individual with CHD lead a good life.

Here are some of the common treatments and procedures that are recommended.

• Medicines

• Anti-arrhythmics

• Antibiotics

• Anti Clotting medicines

• Blood pressure medicines

• Routine vaccinations

• Procedures

• Cardiac catheterization

• Heart transplant (in severe cases)

• Palliative surgery

• Ventricular assist device

• Complete artificial heart

Although life for people with congenital heart defects is not the easiest, medical science has served as a useful aid for treating a range of medical conditions.

Visiting a cardiologist regularly can help you with a clear understanding of the do’s and don’ts when you have a congenital heart defect:

Here’s a quick checklist of all that you need to consider while under observation:

• How your heart is functioning

• Receiving a routine follow-up care

• Following a Heart-healthy lifestyle

• Monitoring the condition Symptoms

Symptoms

• Heart murmurs

• Poor blood circulation

• Fatigue

• Rapid breathing

• Stroke

• Arrhythmia

• Blood clots

• Liver disease

• Pneumonia

• Endocarditis, (heart inflammation)

• Kidney disease

• Developmental disorders and delays

• Emotional health issues

• Pregnancy complications

 Diagnostic Tests

• Echocardiography diagnoses a heart defect and checks its progress over time.

• Electrocardiogram (EKG/ECG) evaluates the rhythm of the heartbeat.

• Genetic testing determines if genetic conditions are responsible for the defect.

• Pulse oximetry estimates the amount of oxygen in the blood.

• Cardiac catheterization measures the pressure levels and oxygen levels inside the blood vessels and chambers of the heart.

• Chest X-ray to check if the heart is enlarged or if there is extra blood flow in the lungs.

• Cardiac MRI