• How to detect & diagnose Congenital Heart Disease in Children?
    February 1, 2017

    Congenital means “Existing at the birth” Congenital Heart Disease in Children is caused when a child is born with irregular heart structure or defects in the heart. Best Cardiologist in Hyderabad says that it is mainly caused in children from the birth.

    According to best cardiologist in Kukatpally Hyderabad, people in general refer congenital heart disease in the prospective of a disease. But in reality it is not a disease, it is a defect or abnormality caused because of heart alignment.

    The news that a child is suffering with congenital heart disease (CHD) in children will make you sorrow. But one must know all the detailed information on congenital heart disease in infants which is provided in this article.

    Do you know?

    • Every year 1.35 million babies are born with congenital heart disease every year.
    • 25% of Kids within the age of 2 years may need to undergo surgery.
    • 1-3% of children develop Atrioventricular (AV) block due to CHD surgery.

    How heart defects grow in children or infant:

    When a woman is pregnant, during the period of first 6 months heart takes shape and starts beating. The blood vessels present in the heart also starts growing. This is the root time of causing heart defects in various heart parts.

    Categories of Congenital Heart Disease in Congenital Heart Defects in Children: 

    Congenital Heart Disease which is generally known as congenital heart defect has been classified into two types as below.

    Cyanotic:

    Tetralogy of Fallot

    Tetralogy of Fallot

    • Fallot’s tetralogy.
    • Transposition of the great arteries.
    • Tricuspid atresia: A complete absence of the tricuspid valve, an ASD must be present to maintain blood flow.
    • Total anomalous pulmonary venous return: all four pulmonary veins are malposition and make anomalous connections to the systemic venous circulation.
    • Persistent truncus arteriosus.
    • Hypoplastic left heart: the left side of the heart is severely underdeveloped.
    • Pulmonary atresia: the pulmonary valve is completely closed and the only source of pulmonary blood flow is a PDA.
    • Ebstein’s anomaly.

    Types of congenital heart defects:

    Few children are born with simple and normal problems and few are born with the serious and complex problem. The below listed problems are generally seen in Congenital Heart Defects in Children respectively said by the best cardiologist in Hyderabad India.

    Holes in heart: Holes can form either in between the heart walls or blood vessels in the heart. These holes allow oxygen-rich and oxygen-poor blood to flow through the heart and other body parts. The blood mixture which is passed through all the body parts contains very less amount of oxygen and leads to blue skin color.

    Blood flow blockage: This happens when blood vessels or heart valves are narrow and this leads to harder blood pumping into the heart. In this there are two types:

    • Pulmonary stenosis: This occurs when blood flows from the right ventricle to the lungs in the valve through the artery is too narrow for the proper functionality.
    • Aortic stenosis: This occurs when aortic valve allows blood flow from the left ventricle to the full body is too narrow to flow the blood which makes heart to function very hardly ultimately makes the heart thicker and enlarges the heart.

    Abnormal blood vessels: This happens when blood vessels are not formed correctly which helps in blood flow in the heart.

    Coarctation of the aorta

    Coarctation of the aorta

    • Transposition of the great arteries: It is the condition caused due to the abnormal blood vessels. It occurs when pulmonary artery and the aorta are positioned on the wrong side of the heart.
    • Coarctation of the aorta: It causes due to the high blood pressure. It occurs when blood vessel which supplies blood to the heart is too narrow to flow.
    • Total anomalous pulmonary venous connection: It is a defect occurs when blood vessels from the lungs are linked to wrong positioned in the heart.

    Abnormalities in heart valve: These abnormalities include closing of heart valves which stops blood flow.

    Immature development of heart: Some parts of the heart fail to develop because of this defect.

    Combinational defects: Many infants or children are born with several defects. Tetralogy of Fallot is a combination of four defects namely a hole in the wall between the heart’s ventricles, a narrowed passage between the right ventricle and pulmonary artery, a shift in the connection of the aorta to the heart, and thickened muscle in the right ventricle.

    Risk Factors of congenital heart disease in infants:

    According to the best Interventional cardiologist in Hyderabad,there are various risk factors which cause congenital heart defects and few are the root causes. Some of the major and important risk factors are listed below.

    Pregnant women with diabetes

    Pregnant women with diabetes

    • Diabetes: A pregnant mother with diabetes will create CHD in their baby or the adult with congenital heart defects will have severe effects of diabetes
    • Rubella: A German measles, rubella is a virus which if spread in the body leads to congenital heart defects in the infants.
    • Medications: Consuming more number of medications either in a pregnant woman or adult person will increases the risk of CHD.
    • Smoking: Person with smoking habits during the pregnancy increases the chance of CHD among new born babies. As smoking damages the baby’s body and heart with the chemicals present in it.
    • Heredity: Few new born babies are affected with congenital heart disease due to the heredity among their family members.
    • Alcohol: Alcohol consumption among parents without any limits affects widely on kids, infants, and babies.

    Other Complications:

    • The risk of infective endocarditis.
    • Failure to thrives
    • Difficulty in joining the games and sports among children.
    • Causes polycythaemia due to cyanosis – a haemoglobin increases more than 20g/dL and results in blood difficulty.

    Symptoms of Congenital Heart Defects Symptoms:

    Every CHD effected kid as seen any one of the below signs and symptoms during their infant and child days.

    Complex Congenital heart defects: These problems starts either from the time of birth or after few months of birth. The main signs and symptoms include the following.

    • Blue skin color or Pale grey color.
    • Rapid breathing without any pause.
    • Burn nostrils.
    • Swelling in the legs, abdomen, around eyes.
    • Poor gain weight.

    Normal Congenital heart defects: These sorts of diseases may not be treated in early childhood. They can be treated when a child has grown up. The signs may not have any noticeable problems. If they can be identified in older age below may be included.

    • Breathing problems during exercise or activity.
    • Rapid tiredness.
    • Swelling in hands, ankles and feet.

    General Signs of congenital heart disease in babies:

    • Heart murmur
    • Abnormal heart sounds
    • Fast breathing
    • Poor feeding
    • Very less Weight gain
    • Excessive sweating

    Tests for Congenital heart disease:

    There are different tests for the congenital heart defects depending upon the age. Here are few tests for the congenital heart disease in newborn prescribed generally by the Best Cardiologist in Hyderabad according to the research.

    • Cardiac catheterization: It is used to know the detailed view on child’s heart. In this test, a thin and flexible tube is inserted into child’s heart and through blood vessels.
    • Chest X-Ray: It is used to check heart size as whether it is enlarged or not. It is processed by taking a simple x-ray of the heart.
    • Echocardiogram: It is used to diagnose the congenital defect after an infant is born. Ultrasound is performed to check heart motion and sounds along with the identification of the abnormalities of kids’ heart.
    • Electrocardiogram (ECG/EKG): It is used to record the electrical activity of the heart. It helps in diagnosis of the heart rhythm is any problem is formed. Waves are printed through the Electrodes which are placed on baby’s chest are connected to the computer and printer.
    Pulse oximetry

    Pulse oximetry

    • Fetal Echocardiogram: It helps in detecting any sort of heart defect when the child is in mother’s womb i.e., before the child born defects can be identified.
    • Pulse oximetry: It measures the oxygen content present in the child’s blood. Through sensor oxygen content can be identified and recorded. The less amount of oxygen can lead to heart defects.

    Treatments for Congenital Heart Defects in Children and small babies:

    Here is the list of treatments provided by the best cardiologist in Hyderabad India for the heart defects faced by infants, children and kids. 

    • Procedures using catheterization
    • Open-heart surgery
    • Heart transplant
    • Medications
    • Lifelong monitoring and treatment
    • Exercise restrictions
    • Infection prevention

    Prevention:

    Checkout the preventions listed by the best pediatric cardiologist in Hyderabad for the children.

    • Many congenital heart defects are not preventable. But here are few tips which help in preventing it.
    • Avoid drugs and alcohol consumption during pregnancy which may prevent congenital disease.
    • Avoid rubella syndrome by taking vaccination to prevent congenital disease in children and infants.
    • Avoid contact with organic solvents such as the chemicals used in dry cleaning, paint thinners, nail polish remover, etc.
    • Keep yourself away from viral infections during pregnancy time especially infections related to upper respiratory tract.
    • Congenital heart anomalies can be diagnosed during pregnancy before delivery time through antenatal scan.
    • During pregnancy period every woman should intake 400micrograms of folic acid every day.

    Growth Development tips for the Congenital Heart Defects in Children:

    Nutrition needs: Nutritional issues effects more to CHD developed kids compared to normal child. Few of the issues may include:

    • The heart pumping should be much faster to meet the kid’s needs.
    • More stress on the kids mind and body due to CHD.
    • Lack of oxygen levels in the body.
    • Rapid tiredness in the kid.
    • Due to very less oxygen kid may not observe nutrients as per normal kids.

    Pubescence Growth: Many advanced treatments are found by many scientists around the world. They might be cured but the issues related to this CHD may be serious and affect a kid’s life as they grow up. The issues may include below:

    • Confidence of being independent
    • Choosing collage and career
    • Getting into marriage
    • Having an own family
    • Pregnancy difficulties
    • Health and Life insurance disapprovals
    • Travelling around by their own
    • Relocation whenever there is a need

    Development forethoughts: The following reasons include the development issues in every kid affected by the congenital heart disease:

    • Lack of energy in the kid will lead to an immature growth of body parts such as brain, muscles, bones and nerve system.
    • Continuous illness and frequent hospitalization will make a kid more depressed.
    • Genetic problems related to heart defects and diseases will reduce kid’s development according to the age.
    Baby sleeping

    Baby sleeping

    Keep Active: Keep kids and children active through the daily routines and make them happy mentally and physically.

    • Activities such as exercise, walking, dancing or other activities which include physical activities.
    • Best cardiologist in Apollo Hyderabad doctors suggests at least a kid should involve in half an hour exercise which can split and performed with multiple intervals.
    • Consult doctors before you start any sort of exercise to the kids as few children body may not support for much more physical activity.

    Sleep: When children sleep peacefully then only they will be active.

    • The amount of sleep a kid should get depends upon the age.
    • But minimum 8-9 hours’ sleep is recommended by the doctors to any human.
    • Never exceed the limit of watching TV or using computer in the night times.

    Foods and other factors for the congenital heart disease in new born and kids:

    It is recommended to follow proper diet and food for the CHD affected kids. This will make them positively grow in every aspect. Few foods and minerals are provided below. 

    Remember always to either feed or eat any sort of food in limited quantity and prefer only organic nature-friendly and healthy food.

    Dairy products:

    • Add more content of high-calories milk in child’s food. Breastfeeding is prioritized and recommended.
    • Add low-fat cheese and other dairy products.

    Tube Feeding:

    • Increase tube feedings. Tube feedings can be either supplements or daily food routines. Tube feeding is generally processed through the tube connect from the nose. Food should be passed through nose to the esophagus to the stomach. Sometimes tube may be inserted directly into the stomach depending upon the kid’s criticality on a disease.

    High Calories foods:

    • High calories foods and snacks are more preferred as they provide good number of supplements to the body.

    Fruits:

    Fruit juices

    Fruit juices

    • Any types of fruits are suitable for the kids affected with congenital heart disease.
    • Add plenty of fruit juices every day. Do not use any extra or added sugars in the juice.

    Proteins:

    • Protein rich content is very good for health and increases the potential energy in the body.
    • Protein foods such as meat, fish, poultry, nuts, beans have high amount of proteins and other minerals.

    Foods to be avoided:

    • Stop providing a high content of sugar products.
    • Avoid cool drinks.
    • Stop feeding junk foods.
    • Never allow your child to eat fast foods or saturated foods.
    • Avoid high-fat content foods.
    • Always prefer organic and healthy foods.

    Diet Tips for the children heart defects in babies:

    Feed child for every little time gap

    Feed child for every little time gap

    • Use less content of sodium or salt in the food
    • Avoid excess amount of sugar
    • Never keep your kid’s stomach empty.
    • Feed child for every little time gap.
    • Use whole grains instead of refined grains
    • Use low-fat or non-fat products
    • Always maintain a balanced diet.
    • Use vegetable oil instead of refined oil.
    • Eat more amounts of fish and other protein-rich food.
    • Encourage organic and home food.

    Side effects of congenital heart disease in infants:

    The below side effects are listed by the best cardiologist surgeon in Hyderabad by the experience they had in treating the CHD-affected infants.

    • The kid may look thinner, younger compared to normal kids of same age.
    • Child’s height and weight may be very less than the other children of same age.
    • The development process will be very slow than other healthy kids.
    • Special training for daily routines such as toilet, sitting, walking, etc. may require for the CHD affected kids.
    • No content of proteins, minerals, vitamins and other nutritional food even after the high amount of nutrition consumption.

    Challenges faced because of Congenital Heart disease in children by the parents:

    Congenital Heart Disease in Children

    Regular medical check-ups

    • Learning more specialized parenting skills to handle the kid.
    • Becoming expert and self-learner to know in detail about kids’ condition.
    • Problem solving capabilities faced every day.
    • More concern and increase in safety of the child.
    • Handling and struggling for the financial stability.
    • Making time and maintaining a proper schedule for the regular medical check-ups of the child.

    “we would greatly appreciate it if you kindly give me some feedback on this article”


    Auther’s Bio :

    Ashreetha Pendkar

    Is a Healthcare writer, trainer and Digital marketing expert, she loves to read healthcare content and spreading her words about importance of the health to near & dears.You can reach her on Ashreetha Pendkar

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