Heart disease is a disorder, which affect the proper functioning of the heart. It is common affecting many newborn and older children. This article examines the various types of such disease and their treatment.
Heart disease is a serious ailment and often leads to premature death. Many children can also suffer from it. Child heart disease is actually quite a common worldwide. When a child is born with an existing defect in the heart, it is called congenital heart disease. It affects almost one percent of all newborn.
Often, the first diagnosis is made during routine examination when the pediatrician detects heart murmur. Heart murmur is the noise that the blood makes as it flows through the heart. Heart murmurs are fairly common in children. It is not necessarily a sign of heart problem.
If a heart murmur is due to a problem in a child’s heart, it is caused either by a hole in the heart, a leaky heart valve, or constricted heart valve. To confirm the diagnosis, an examination by a pediatric cardiologist is necessary.
Abnormalities of the heart may or may not be noticeable at birth. For example, a hole in the heart wall will allows blood to travel from one side to the other. In such case, the baby may have blue lips or fingers. This is one of the signs of heart problem.
Another example is an abnormal heart valve, which allow blood to flow in the opposite direction. Such a problem will usually require surgery once the child is older.
Congenital heart disease must be treated promptly or it will lead to more serious complications. Hence, early detection is important. Unfortunately, many heart defects are not detected at birth resulting in more damage to the heart and requiring more extensive treatment.
Some forms of heart problem are actually self-healing. However, in many cases, major surgery will be required to rectify the problems.
While there are risks associated with surgery, the chances of full recovery and a normal life are very high. So the situation is not hopeless.
Connection between Premature Infants and Heart Disease
A baby is considered premature if born before 37 weeks. Most premature babies are born with some form of heart problem. A premature infant’s organs are also not fully developed, and thus require special care in a nursery or intensive care unit while their organ systems continue growth.
Although there is no sure way to avoid premature labor, one of the most important preventive measures to receive proper prenatal care. Statistics show that proper prenatal care greatly reduces the odds of premature birth and related deaths.
The pregnant mother should also maintain a healthy lifestyle, eat a diet that is rich in fresh fruits and vegetables, keep well hydrated and have at least 30 minutes of exercise each day.