Congenital heart defects are popularly known as heart anomaly or heart disease. These defects occur due to problem in heart structure that is present by birth. Symptoms can be minor or life threatening. Some of the symptoms include rapid breathing, bluish skin, poor weight gain and fatigue. Heart failure is the main cause of heart defects.
Poor nutrition, use of certain medications or obesity in mother, smoking habits and use of some alcohol are some of the probable causes of congenital heart defects. Apart from this, some of the genetic conditions are also known to have congenital heart defects. Genetic conditions such as down syndrome, tuner syndrome and marfan syndrome. Congenital heart defects may occur to interior of the walls, to heart valves or the large vessels that proceed towards the heart.
The heart is the most important and non-stop working organ in your body. The weight of the height is 200 grams to 450 grams. The heart beats 1, 00,000 times average a day and pumping 7,571 liters bloods every day. The Heart is located in between the lungs in the middle of the chest. The heart is surrounded by pericardium; it is a double layered membrane. The outer layer of the pericardium is attached to the major blood vessels and the inner layer of the pericardium is attached to heart muscles. These two layers are separated by the coating of fluids, so heart can expand and contracted. The heart has four chambers. The right and left atria is the upper chambers. The right ventricle and left ventricle is the lower chambers. The upper chambers and the lower chambers are separated by a wall of muscle called the septum. The strongest chamber in your heart is left ventricle. It has the capacity to push the blood into more force to the arotic valve and through into your body, but its thickness is only half inch. There are four valves in the heart 1. tricuspid valve, 2. pulmonary valve 3. mitral valve 4. aortic valve. These four valves support to regulate the blood through your heart.
Diagnosing Congenital heart Defects
Many Congenital Heart defects are diagnosed during pregnancy or soon after birth with the help of techniques such as Ultrasounds scans, 2-D echo or 3-D echo. In today’s world, some defects are detected pre-natal and some are diagnosed right after birth. In earlier times, these defects were not diagnosed until symptoms appear. Physicians may diagnose them based on results from a physical examination & tests done for different reason. There are a lot of types of heart problems. They range from simple problems with no symptoms to complicated problems with severe, serious symptom.
Congenital heart problem is the most common type birth problem. They affect eight out of every thousand new birth. Each year, more than 35,000 children in the U.S. are diagnosed with congenital heart problems.
Most of these defects can be managed easily. They may not need any treatment and are fixed on their own. Some children are born with complicated congenital heart problems. These problems require specially care right after birth.
The diagnosis and treatments for complicated heart problems has greatly enhanced over the past few decades. As a result, almost all babies who have complicated heart problems survive to adulthood & can live active, productive lifestyles.
People who have serious congenital heart defects continue to require special heart care throughout their lifespan.
Types of Congenital Heart Defects
In congenital heart defects, some part of the heart is in abnormal formation before birth, this changes the typical blood circulation through the heart. Around 18 discrete types of congenital heart defects are on paper. But current research and treatment makes it possible to overcome most of the defects as well as those once notion to be hopeless.
Septal defects (Holes in the heart) – the septum is the wall which divide the chambers of left and right side of heart. The function of wall prevents blood from adding between both sides of the heart. But some children are born with holes in septum.
Types of Heart Defects:
Atrial septal defect (ASD) – It is a hole in the wall separates between the heart’s two upper chambers (atria). The hole allows oxygen-rich blood to leak with poor blood oxygen from the left atria to flow toward right atrium, instead of flowing within left ventricle as it should.
An ASD can be small, medium and large size. Small ASD permits only modest blood to leak from one atrium to another. Small ASD do not affect the heart working hence it does not need any special treatment. Most of the time, small ASDs are automatically closed on their own when heart grows during childhood.
Medium and large ASDs permit more blood seep out from one to other atrium. In this condition it is less likely to close on their own. Therefore, heart surgery is required for these defects to be closed. A cardiac catherization surgery is good for medium ASD’s however large Atrial septal defects are closed by an open-heart surgery.
Ventricular Septal Defect (VSD) – It is a hole in the septum which is part of heart that divides the ventricle, the lower chamber of heart. The hole allocates oxygen-rich blood circulation from left ventricle to right side, as an alternative of flowing blood into aorta and out to the body as it should.
VSDs have three types small, medium and large. Small VSDs has less problems and close automatically as heart grows. Medium VSDs have less probability to close on their own and need medical treatment.
Large VSDs set aside lot of blood flow from left to right ventricle. Therefore, the left side of the heart need to work harder than it’s normal. So, extra blood circulation leads blood pressure in right side of the heart as well as the lungs.
Doctors suggest an open-heart surgery to fix VSDs.
Patent Ductus Arteriosus (PDA) – it is somewhat common heart defect which may occur quickly after birth. In PDA, unusual blood circulation occurs between the aorta and pulmonary artery.
Before birth, these arteries are attached by blood vessel known as ductus arteriosus. The ductus arteriosus is a hole which permits the blood to omit the circulation to the lungs. Nevertheless, when baby is born, the blood must need oxygen in the lungs and this hole is thought to close. If the hole is still open the blood will miss out the necessary step of circulation.
Children who are experience this heart defect must need lifelong medical treatment by a specialist because of they stay a healthy as possible. The treatment of children with congenital heart defects has developed in the last 60 years of conventional care for greatly specific management where advances in imaging, surgical, interventional and support methods meet together to make sure satisfactory growth and great quality of life to the child and in the future grown up. Management of congenital heart defects best starts before birth with the goal, whenever possible, to keep or establish bi-ventricular physiology or, if this is prohibited, to optimize the situations for uni-ventricular physiology.
Not all CHD’s require medical treatment however people with minor CHD’s do require to be examined on regular notes. Such patients need regular examination by their cardiologist. Critical conditions may be treated with the help of surgery. Cardiac catheterization may be required to lessen the effects of and/or restore the defect however this type of treatment is only possible in certain specific cases. Even when a defect is treated as a child, further conditions may increase that would advantage from further medical treatment.
Many medicinal treatments are available to make the heart work at its best. Sometimes many problems occur to a child suffering from a congenital heart defect and each one of these require medical treatment. Below are lists of common conditions that can develop in such children or adults who suffer from CHD and may require medicinal treatment:
• Congestive Heart Failure
• Heart Rhythm Problems
• Pulmonary Hypertension
• Interventional Cardiac Catheterizations
The prognosis of CHD has reached a satisfying rate with the current advancement in medical technology. The survival rate has increased considerably. Although people with congenital heart defect live their life normally but they do need special care and attention.