People having congenital heart disease are found all across the world. It happens to be a kind of birth defect which not only affect the function of the heart but also its structure too. This is a very common condition that has affected about one percent of the total births all over the world. How severe this condition will be, varies from person to person. Some have a mild defect which is not that alarming and neither does it have any serious symptoms. But sometimes these conditions tend to be life-threatening in some too. It needs medical supervision.
According to Dr. T K Dash, most of the time this disease is diagnosed either at the pre-birth stage or during the infancy stage. There also happen to be some cases where this condition gets detected in the baby during the routine ultrasound checkup of the mother. It helps the doctors to monitor the development of the heart in the baby and plan the treatment accordingly once the child is born. Depending on the severity of the issue, different types of symptoms are found in newborns.
Some of the common symptoms and signs which are found in infants who have congenital heart disease are inconsolable crying, irritability, excessive sweating, rapid breathing, difficulties during a feed, and weight gain too. Furthermore, in some babies a bluish ting forms on their skin, swelling of the legs, water forms in the chest, and a rapid or absent pulse too.
In adolescents or older children due to CHD their overall growth and development get affected. They even show signs of weakness, shortness of breath while exercising or doing normal activities, and fatigue too. Some may even experience dizziness, spells of fainting, and chest pain too. At times it is even found that children having this condition become less attentive to grabbing things which other children of the same age easily do. It even chokes the breath in some children while sleeping and they often wake up gasping for breath.
Dr. Dash says that while such children undergo a physical examination, the doctors primarily try to detect the murmur of the heart. It is an abnormal sound of the heart and this happens when there is turbulence in the blood flow through the heart. This indicates that the child is suffering from a heart defect. It prompts the diagnostics for congenital heart disease.
In order to confirm that a child is suffering from CHD multiple basic investigations are recommended by the doctors. It includes x-rays, echocardiography, electrocardiography, and a few other tests. With the help of these tests, the structure and function of the heart are calculated. It helps in identifying abnormalities. Sometimes additional tests are recommended too such as MRI scan, CT scan, and cardiac catheterization too. All these tests help in supplementing the plan for treatment and diagnosis.
Dr. Dash says that medical technology now is so much advanced that these conditions can be detected even before the birth of the child. An ultrasonic test called fetal echocardiography can be done on a mother when she is sixteen to twenty-four weeks pregnant. Early detection helps in planning the treatment in advance and this leads to a more successful outcome.