Congenital Heart diseases and their treatment – A brief study
It is heartbreaking for any parents to know when their newborn suffers from any congenital heart disease- meaning heart diseases present on birth. Thankfully most of the congenital heart conditions can be treated and with right precautions and awareness they can be avoided to large extent. To ensure happy hearts for your newborn, know about congenital heart diseases and their treatment here.
What are congenital heart diseases?
If a heart abnormality is present at birth, it is called a congenital heart disease. Newborns can be born with numerous kinds of heart diseases. They are broadly divided into three kinds of defects can be observed among newborns. They are defects in heart walls, valves and blood vessels. The severity of the problem may largely differ. Though congenital diseases may scare to the hilt, but when treated carefully, many of such babies actually go on to have an absolutely normal and productive life.
They can be further divided depending upon the effect that the ailment is causing the oxygen levels in the blood. Though in all cases, the heart fails to pump blood normally, yet the oxygen levels may not be affected.
How to know if your baby is suffering from any congenital heart disease?
Every newborn is checked for normal heart functions on birth. If unfortunately there is any congenital heart issue, the pediatrician will inform you. You may also notice some of the common symptoms as mentioned below.
- If your child is having troubles in breathing or suffering from breathlessness.
- Feeding difficulties, not able to suck milk properly and for long.
- Bluish lips, toes, skin and fingers.
- Chest pain.
- Delayed growth.
Sometimes, children may not display symptoms immediately after birth but if your child has very low birth weight or shows poor growth, you must consult for a heart check up. Sometimes symptoms may appear in form of dizziness, poor stamina, fainting abnormal heart rhythm. Though the cause for such symptoms may be congenital heart problems, yet it takes many years before actual symptoms occur. For congenital heart diseases and their treatment, first step is stay vigilant about these symptoms.
What do you do if you spot any of these symptoms?
If you spot any of these of these symptoms for your child, do not panic or try to reach for any early conclusion. Sometimes same symptoms may be caused due to some other health conditions also. But you must consult a doctor who may be able to ascertain the health of your child’s heart and if there is any other health condition.
How the congenital heart diseases are treated?
Congenital heart diseases and their treatment are of various kinds. It is largely decided on the kind of disease. Some minor issues may heal on their own or with minor medications; some others may need extensive medication or surgery. However, with massive advancement of medical sciences, most of the congenital heart conditions can be treated successfully.
- Medication – This is one of the primary methods of treating congenital heart conditions. Irregular heartbeats or insufficient blood supply may be treated with medicines.
- Surgery - Open heart surgeries may be needed for rectifying holes in the heart, widen blood vessels, treat the valves.
- Catheter procedures - These procedures cure a range of heart defects without surgically opening the chest and heart. It can be used for a wide range of congenital heart conditions. Especially for new born babies, cathartic processes are very helpful.
- Heart Transplant – It is the last resort for treating patients who have very complex heart defects which cannot be corrected otherwise. It is suggested rarely but has good success rate.