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Congenital Heart Disease
Congenital heart disease (CHD) refers to a group of structural heart defects that are present at birth. These defects can affect the way blood flows through the heart and the rest of the body. CHD is a complex and varied condition, with many different types of defects and symptoms that can range from mild to severe, which may not cause any noticeable symptoms, to more severe defects that can be life-threatening and require immediate medical attention. Some common types of congenital heart disease include:
- Atrial septal defect (ASD) – A hole in the wall between the two upper chambers of the heart.
- Ventricular septal defect (VSD) – A hole in the wall between the two lower chambers of the heart.
- Patent ductus arteriosus (PDA) – A blood vessel that fails to close after birth, causing blood to flow between the aorta and pulmonary artery.
- Tetralogy of Fallot – A combination of four heart defects that affect the flow of blood through the heart.
- Transposition of the great arteries – The two main arteries leaving the heart are reversed, so that oxygen-poor blood is pumped to the body instead of the lungs.
- Coarctation of the aorta – A narrowing of the aorta, which can restrict blood flow to the lower part of the body.
- Difficulty in breathing
- Poor weight gain
- Bluish skin or lips
- Fainting or dizziness with exertion
- Genetics - Congenital heart disease is caused by a combination of genetic and environmental factors.
Maternal Conditions - Maternal conditions such as diabetes or obesity during pregnancy. Drinking or smoking during pregnancy can also be causative for the same.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can CHD be cured?
Most types of CHD cannot be cured, but they can be managed with medications, procedures, or surgery. The goal of treatment is to improve heart function and reduce symptoms.
Is it safe to have children if I have CHD?
In many cases, it is safe to have children if you have CHD. However, it is important to discuss any potential risks with your doctor before becoming pregnant.
What is the long-term outlook for people with CHD?
The long-term outlook for people with CHD depends on the type and severity of the defect, as well as the effectiveness of treatment. With appropriate care, many people with CHD can live healthy and active lives.