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Congenital Heart Defect In Children: Everything About It Types, Causes, Symptoms, Treatment And Prevention

Posted On Mar 23, 2023

4 Min Read

DR. SANDEEP THAKKAR

Senior Consultant Interventional Cardiology

Manipal Hospital - Patiala

Best Cardiology Hospital in Patiala

Gone are the days when heart diseases and defects were diagnosed after a certain age. Cases of heart defects among newborns are reported as early as inside the womb. The number of cases of children being born with congenital heart diseases has been increasing at an alarming rate. Congenital heart diseases/defects (CHD) occur when the child is in the womb and the heart does not develop properly. Every year, thousands of babies are born with this defect. 

The heart, which is a fist-sized organ pumps blood throughout the body and when a baby has CHD, its heart might not be able to function as it must. CHD is a serious condition that can be life-threatening. However, with proper medical care, many people with CHD can live long and healthy lives. Contact Manipal Hospitals, considered the best cardiology hospital in Patiala that has the best doctors to treat congenital heart disease in Patiala.

Types of Congenital Heart Defects 

The diagnosis and the course of treatment for heart defects depend on their types. These defects can be divided into 3 major categories that are: atrial septal defects (ASD), ventricular septal defects (VSD), and patent ductus arteriosus (PDA). The severity of each category varies and thus the entire approach towards the treatment that is to be followed. 

Switching focus to the types, ASDs and VSDs are usually acquired during fetal development when the heart is forming inside the womb. On the other hand, PDA is usually present at birth. In some cases, CHD may not be diagnosed until later in life. This is often the case with milder forms of CHD. However, even mild forms of CHD can become serious if they are not treated timely and properly.

Causes That Lead to the Development of Congenital Heart Defects 

There are many causes that lead to congenital heart defects. Some of these could be the following: 

  • Diabetes

  • Smoking

  • Poor nutrition

  • Genetic abnormalities

  • Consumption of alcohol during pregnancy.

  • Viral infections during pregnancy.

  • Exposure to certain medications or chemicals during pregnancy.

Research works are going on across the world to determine the causes behind congenital heart defects. The results will certainly help people eliminate the risk factors and thus the chances of congenital heart diseases. In addition to the elimination of risk factors, the results of the research will also help doctors devise a treatment plan, procedure and medication to treat such defects. 

Symptoms and Complications of Congenital Heart Defects 

There are many symptoms that can be considered red flags and one should immediately connect with an expert cardiologist in Patiala for timely diagnosis and treatment. There are many prenatal testing procedures that can be done to detect any deformity or problem in the development of the heart. 

In some cases, the defects are observed only after the child's birth. In such cases, the treatment offered is entirely different and depends on numerous parameters such as the severity, type of defect, and the newborn’s overall health condition. 

The only way to prevent it and nip it in the bud is to always be vigilant of the common symptoms which may include:

  • Fatigue 

  • Chest pain

  • Breathlessness 

  • Irregular heartbeat 

  • Blue lips, skin and fingernails.

  • Swelling around the eyes or in the legs.

Complications of CHDs can include heart failure, stroke, and arrhythmia. In some cases, CHDs may also lead to disability or even death. With early diagnosis and treatment, many people with CHDs can lead healthy lives.

Treatment and Prevention of Congenital Heart Defect 

The treatment for CHD varies with every case, in some cases, surgery or a heart transplant is needed to cure the defect, while in some, medication can offer the desired result. Some babies with heart defects will require lifelong care. However, one can take certain precautions to nip it in the bud. There are many steps that parents can take to help prevent congenital heart defects in their children. 

All pregnant women are advised to take folate and other supplements that are advised by their doctors on a regular basis. Folate is recommended by doctors because it is a water-soluble vitamin that helps to prevent defects and is naturally found in green vegetables, nuts, and legumes. Apart from taking the supplements religiously, one must also avoid smoking and consuming alcohol, because exposure can also impact the growth of the heart in the womb and may give rise to congenital heart defects. 

In addition, maintaining a healthy weight and blood pressure can help to reduce the likelihood of developing cardiovascular problems during pregnancy. By taking these steps, parents can help to protect their children from congenital heart defects. 

To know more about CHD get in touch with our highly experienced best cardiology doctors in Patiala . Book an appointment to understand the stages of congenital heart defect treatment in Patiala. You may also bookmark our blog page to read informative content about heart health. 

Congenital Heart Defect in Children | Manipal Hospitals
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