Children with defective heart: What to do?

Defective Heart - Sriramakrishnahospital

A healthy heart has its chambers and valves working correctly in a circulatory pattern, the blood is pumped through the heart, to the lungs for oxygen, back to the heart, and out to the body. 

In congenital defects, the valves, chambers, arteries, and veins are malformed, and this particular circulation can be impaired. And infants or children may be pushed to deal with a congenitally defective heart. This article works as a useful guide on how to deal with a defective heart.

A congenital heart defect is a problem with the outline or the structure of the heart. It is a defect that is present at birth. The congenital heart defect is one of the most common defects. These can include the walls of the heart, the valves of the heart, and the arteries and veins near the heart. They can cause disturbances in blood flow. Slow blood flow, improper blood flow, or blocked blood flow can all occur.

Defective Heart – Types of Defects

Congenital heart defects can be defined as structural problems that arise from the abnormal formation of the heart of the major blood vessels. 18 types of congenital heart defects are recognized, varying anatomically. The recent advancements in diagnosis and treatments help the best heart surgeon in treating or fixing most heart defects.

  • Aortic Valve Stenosis (AVS).
  • Atrial Septal Defect (ASD).
  • Coarctation of the Aorta.
  • Complete Atrioventricular Canal defect (CAVC).
  • d – Transposition of the great arteries.
  • Ebstein’s Anomaly.
  • I – transposition of the great arteries.
  • Patent Ductus Arteriosus (PDA).
  • Pulmonary Valve Stenosis.
  • Single Ventricle Defects. 
  • Tetralogy of Fallot.
  • Total Anomalous Pulmonary Venous Connection (TAPVC).
  • Truncus Arteriosus.
  • Ventricular Septal Defect (VSD).

Symptoms and diagnosis 

Cardiologists may conduct a physical exam and specific heart tests to diagnose congenital heart defects. He / She finds severe defects during pregnancy or soon after pregnancy. The symptoms of the infants can include:

  • Shortness of breath or rapid breathing.
  • A bluish tint to the skin, lips, and fingernails, also known as Cyanosis.
  • Poor blood circulation in the body.
  • Fatigue.

It is also possible that congenital heart defects show no signs or symptoms. It is only diagnosed when the children get older. Sometimes the signs are very few or rare.

Children with defective heart - Sriiramakrishnahospital

Treatments for defective heart

Some children with heart defects don’t need treatments. Children dealing with a defective congenital heart need certain treatments. The treatment may depend on the type of defect, the severity of the defect, the child’s age, size, and medical history. The congenital heart disease treatment can include:

  • Medications

The medications may be used to treat the complications or troublesome signs of a congenital heart defect. The medications include:

  • Blood pressure drugs 

Blood pressure drugs are used to lower the troublesome signs of the heart defect in the infant.

  • Diuretics

This type of medication reduces the amount of fluid in the body and turn it helps in reducing the strain on the heart.

  • The heart rhythm drugs

These are also known as antiarrhythmics and are used to control an abnormal beat.

  • Surgical procedures

If your child has a severe congenital heart defect and needs heart failure treatment, surgery may be recommended by doctors.

  • Fetal cardiac intervention

If the defect gets diagnosed before birth, a procedure can be done during pregnancy to reduce the impact of the complications.  It is rare and is only done under specific circumstances.

  • Cardiac catheterization

During this procedure, the surgeon inserts one or more catheters into a blood vessel, initially in the groin and then in the heart. Also, tiny tools are used to thread through the catheter to the heart to repair the defect. Sometimes it needs to be done in separate steps over a year.

  • Heart surgery 

Your child may need open-heart surgery to repair a congenital heart defect.

  • Heart transplant

If the heat defect doesn’t seem to be able to be repaired, it may need a heart transplant.

  • Angiograms for the heart

In this process of coronary angiogram treatment, a thin flexible tube, also known as a catheter is inserted into a blood vessel, guiding it to the arteries of the heart. A dye or contrast is injected through the catheter making the arteries show up more clearly on an X-ray, guiding the doctor to the blockages.

It can treat heart and blood vessel conditions. The angiograms or images show a series of images that offer your doctor to decide whether he needs to open clogged arteries, known as an angioplasty during your coronary angiogram.

The advancements in treatment and diagnosis have allowed babies affected by congenital heart disease to survive well into adulthood. Some children with minor defects survive without treatments. While the progressive treatments in medical science have saved many lives with critical CHD. You can reach out to the pediatric heart surgery hospital in Coimbatore to undergo diagnosis and treatment for heart defects in Children.

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