Understanding Heart Disease In Infants

Congenital heart disease can indeed survive until adulthood, but usually appears when we are born. The disease is caused by a problem with the development of the structure and functions of the heart that is too early, usually, it will interfere with the flow of blood through the heart and interfere with breathing. With current treatment is more sophisticated and appropriate follow-up, many infants who almost died of congenital heart disease were able to survive until adulthood.


Congenital heart disease is caused by a congenital heart defect. Often, these two terms are used interchangeably. In fact, this is an event that happens on all babies with birth defects. Although doctors sometimes do not know the cause of the abnormalities of the heart, the suspected cause, namely:


  • Genetics: inherited defects in the family
  • Medications: some drugs taken during pregnancy can increase the risk, such as anti-seizure medications
  • Alcohol or drug abuse during pregnancy
  • The infection: If the mother is exposed to virus infection in the first trimester, it can increase the risk of children born with heart defects
  • Diabetes: can affect a child's development. Diabetes gestational so far has not been associated with congestive heart disease


Although there are many different types of congenital heart defects, there were three main categories, namely:

  • Heart valve defects. The valves in the heart that directs blood flow can be shut down or experiencing a leak so the heart can't pump blood properly.
  • Defects of the wall of the heart. The wall in between the spaces left and right as well as up and down inside the heart did not develop properly, so that the blood is flowing back into the heart or flows to where it's not supposed to. This flaw makes the heart have to go the extra mile and can lead to high blood pressure.
  • Defective blood vessels. Arteries and veins do not function properly causing the blood flow becomes obstructed or sluggish.


Many doctors classify heart congestive disorders into two types: caused by low levels of oxygen and which are not. Infants who suffer from shortness of breath or if his skin turns a bluish color, it means the baby is not getting enough blood because the heart is not pumping properly. It's called "cyanotic heart disease". Babies who acquire enough oxygen but later suffered from high blood pressure or signs of heart work too hard means the baby has a "heart disease cyanotic".

What are the symptoms and risk factors for congenital heart disease?

Congenital heart defects can be detected with an ULTRASOUND during pregnancy. When doctors hear a heart murmur (heart palpitations) for example, doctors would do more research through tests such as an Echocardiogram, chest x-rays, or MRIS. If the results of the diagnosis have been out, the doctor has the right specialist during childbirth. Early symptoms of congenital heart defects include:

  • Bluish skin, lips, fingers, and toes
  • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
  • No appetite (babies seem not interested in the drinking of the breast milk)
  • Small birth weight
  • Low oxygen levels or fainting
  • Chest pain
  • Terhambatnya growth


Sometimes, especially in infants with heart disease cyanotic are getting enough oxygen, symptoms do not appear until several years later. In this case, symptoms include:

  • Abnormal heart rhythms
  • Dizziness
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Passed out
  • Swelling of the body's organs or tissues
  • Low oxygen levels
  • Easily tired


How to treat congenital heart disease?

Treatment for congenital heart defects depending on the type and level of its severity. Some babies have mild heart defect which healed on its own over time. Some babies may need to undergo treatment. Another baby may have to undergo heart surgery. Catheter procedures, including open heart surgery or a heart transplant (in the case of a very severe).
Congestive heart disease in adults

Depending on disabled, diagnosis and treatment can be done immediately post-birth, during childhood, or up to the age before adulthood. Some types of disabilities do not show symptoms until the patient was growing up and hence are not treated as soon as possible. In this case, the symptoms of congenital heart defect which recently found include:

  • Shortness of breath
  • Chest pain
  • Decreased ability to exercise (fatigue)


Like treatment in children, treatment for adults varies ranging from monitoring to treatment as well as surgery. Disabilities who have been recovered at the time of relapse can be little again as adults. Repair is not effective anymore or maybe the defect becomes worse over time. Scar tissue that develops around the areas repair will cause a problem like arrhythmias. Sometimes, disabled "light" on a childhood that did not require treatment can become progressively worse later in the day.

Regardless of the situation, those who have congenital diseases should be routinely encountered a cardiologist to acquire advanced care. Treatment for congenital heart disease is not a drug. This method improves heart conditions to help patients live a normal life. The risk of complications such as blood pressure in the lungs are so high, heart infections, stroke, heart failure is thus higher in individuals who have congestive heart disorder, so the best thing you can do is to regularly visit a doctor experienced in heart disease.

How do I prevent my baby from congestive heart disease?

Pregnant women can take some action to lower the risk of a baby born with a heart defect: congestive

  • If you plan to become pregnant, discuss with your doctor about any medicines you are using.
  • Avoid alcohol and illegal drugs during pregnancy.
  • If you have diabetes, make sure Your controlled blood sugar levels before pregnancy and enlist the help of a doctor to address this disease while pregnant.
  • If you don't get the rubella virus vaccine (measles Germany), avoid exposure to the virus is exposed to and talk with the doctor about preventive options.


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