The pediatric heart is vulnerable to various heart diseases, these conditions may begin after birth, or they can also be caused due to defects in the pregnancy. In a few cases, the defects can be identified during the early stages of pregnancy.
What are common types of pediatric defects?
Septal Defects of the heart
The septum is the wall that divides the chambers into the left and right sides of the heart. The wall separates the two sides of the heart, preventing blood from mingling. A newborn may be born with a hole in the septum. This increases the chances of high blood flow and eventually results in high pressure.
Atrial Septal Defect
A hole in the section of the septum that separates the atria—the heart’s upper chambers—is known as an ASD. This is because the left atrium’s oxygen-rich blood flows into the right atrium instead of the left ventricle, as it should. Many children with ASDs show minor, if any, signs or symptoms.
Ventricular Septal Defect
A VSD is a hole in the septum that separates the heart’s lower chambers from the ventricles. So instead of flowing into the aorta and out to the body as it should, oxygen-rich blood flows from the left ventricle into the right ventricle.
The heart’s valves can also be affected by simple congenital cardiac abnormalities. These valves regulate blood flow from the atria to the ventricles, as well as from the ventricles to the heart’s two main arteries (the aorta and the pulmonary artery). The pediatric heart requires congestive heart failure treatment at the right time to avoid serious complications.
The following faults can occur in valves
Thickness and stiffness of valve flaps can lead to this problem. The valve will not be fully open as a result of this. A valve that leaks may result in an increased workload for the heart.
If a valve does not form properly and does not have an opening for blood to pass through, this problem arises. Valve atresia usually leads to more complicated congenital pediatric heart disease.
Regurgitation occurs when the valve does not completely seal, allowing blood to escape.
The most frequent valve abnormality is pulmonary valve stenosis, narrowing the pulmonary valve. Blood can flow from the right ventricle into the pulmonary artery through this valve. From there, it goes to the lungs to gather up oxygen.
How can congenital heart defects occur?
The heart begins to develop and beat throughout the first six weeks of pregnancy. During this crucial period, the major blood arteries that run to and from the heart begin to grow.
Pediatric heart problems may start to appear at this stage in your baby’s development. Researchers aren’t sure what causes the majority of these problems. Still, they believe genetics, certain medical disorders, drugs, and environmental or lifestyle factors like smoking could all play a role.
What are the signs of heart defects in a pediatric heart?
Congenital cardiac abnormalities that are serious are usually discovered immediately after birth or within the first few months of life.
The following are possible signs and symptoms:
- Skin that is pale gray or blue (cyanosis)
- Breathing quickly
- Legs, belly button, and eyelids swelling
- During eating, you may have shortness of breath.
Less congenital severe cardiac anomalies may not be identified until later in childhood. In older children, signs and symptoms of congenital cardiac abnormalities may include:
- Quickly becoming out of breath through exertion or activity
- Quick exhaustion through physical activity or exercise
- Experiencing dizziness or fainting during physical activity
- Hands, ankles, and feet tend to swell
What is the diagnosis of defects in a pediatric heart?
The congenital cardiac disease may be suspected during a regular ultrasound scan of the infant in the womb. Then, at around 18 to 22 weeks of pregnancy, a specialist ultrasound called fetal echocardiography will be performed to confirm the exact diagnosis. Your children’s heart surgeon can refer you to therapists who can help you or your child.
Echocardiography is a test that looks inside the pediatric heart. Heart abnormalities undetected during prenatal echocardiography might occasionally be diagnosed when a child grows older.
An electrocardiogram (ECG) is a test that assesses the heart’s electrical activity. Electrodes are sticky sensors attached to the arms, legs, and chest. An ECG recording machine is connected to these via wires. Reach out to an Angiogram Hospital in Coimbatore to receive the best treatment at the right time.
X-ray of the chest
A chest X-ray of the heart and lungs can be used to see whether there’s too much blood in the lungs or if the heart is more significant than it should be. Both of these symptoms could indicate cardiac trouble.
What are the treatments available to treat pediatric heart problems?
The majority of congenital heart disease problems are minor cardiac defects that don’t require treatment. However, you’ll almost certainly have regular outpatient check-ups to monitor your health throughout your life.
Aortic valve stenosis
The urgency of aortic valve stenosis treatment is determined by how thin the valve is. Treatment may be required right away, at a children’s heart hospital, or it may be delayed until symptoms appear.
In children and younger people, a technique termed balloon valvuloplasty is often the suggested treatment choice if therapy is required.
Coarctation of the aorta
If your kid develops a more severe form of aortic coarctation soon after birth, surgery to restore blood flow via the aorta is usually needed within the first few days of life.
Septal defects treatment
The hole size determines how ventricular and atrial septal abnormalities are treated. These forms of septal abnormalities have a good prognosis and do not pose a health risk to your child. If your child has a tiny septal defect that causes no symptoms or causes the heart to stretch, there will be no need for treatment for heart problems.
Some children may experience worry or anxiety as a result of having a congenital heart abnormality. Speaking with a therapist or counselor can help you and your child develop new stress and anxiety management techniques.