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Congenital Heart Disease: Not a Priority

Posted Sep 22 2008 4:36pm 1 Comment
According to It's My Heart, a website dedicated to congenital heart defects, not only are CHD's the number one birth defect in the US, but research into the defects into is grossly underfunded. Those of us within the heart community have long been aware of this, but I have to wonder how known these facts are amongst the general population. Especially the pregnant population.

I know, from my own personal experience, that prenatal screening and testing is most often focused on chromosomal anomalies. In fact, as of January 2007, the American College of Obstetrician and Gynecologists recommend prenatal screening for Down syndrome for all pregnant women, regardless of age. However, while CHDs remain much more common than chromosomal anomalies, similar guidelines have not been issued in relation to heart screening.

Early detection makes all the difference in the world. Thank the gods Gabe was born at a hospital attached to a children's hospital with a superb cardiac unit. When he was admitted, his oxygen stat was at 60%. Normal is 100%.

He was 24 hours old.

You can find this on It's My Heart's website.

  • Congenital Heart Defects are the #1 birth defect. Source: March of Dimes
  • Congenital Heart Defects are the #1 cause of birth defect related deaths. Source: March of Dimes
  • About 1 out of every 100 babies are born each year with some type of Congenital Heart Defect. (approx. 40,000/year) Source: Children's Heart Foundation
  • Nearly twice as many children die from Congenital Heart Defects in the United States each year as from all forms of childhood cancers combined, yet funding for pediatric cancer research is five times higher than funding for CHD. Source: Children's Heart Foundation.
  • The American Heart Association directs only $0.30 of every dollar donated toward research. The remainder goes toward administration, education and fundraising efforts. Of the $0.30 that goes toward research only $0.01 goes toward pediatric cardiology for CHD. Source: Children’s Heart Foundation.
  • This year approximately 4,000 babies will not live to see their first birthday because of Congenital Heart Defects. Source: Children’s Heart Foundation
  • The cost for inpatient surgery to repair Congenital Heart Defects exceeds $2.2 billion a year. Source: Children’s Heart Foundation
  • Of every dollar the government spends on medical funding only a fraction of a penny is directed toward Congenital Heart Defect research. Source: Children’s Heart Foundation
  • Though research is ongoing, at least 35 defects have now been identified.
  • 4-8 percent born with CHD have Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome.
  • 4-10 percent born with CHD have Atrioventricular Septal Defects.
  • 8-11 percent born with CHD have Coarctation of the Aorta.
  • 9-14 percent born with CHD have Tetralogy of Fallot.
  • 10-11 percent born with CHD have Transposition of the Great Arteries.
  • 14-16 percent born with CHD have Ventricular Septal Defects.
  • Although some babies will be diagnosed during gestation or at birth, sometimes the diagnosis is not made until days, weeks, months, or even years after. In some cases, CHD is not detected until adolescence or adulthood. Source: March of Dimes
  • It is a proven fact that the earlier CHD is detected and treated, it is more likely the affected child will survive and have less long term health complications.Source: March of Dimes

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Sometimes people fail to understand and recognize the indications of pre-heart attack symptoms. Sometimes, a little knowledge regarding the immediate actions to be taken may help your near and dear ones to survive in such incidents. The response a person takes to treat a victim decides the probability of his/her survival. It’s been my personal experience fighting to survive against a heart attack. Because of having many heart problems, I was enrolled in a concierge Healthcare program from elite health. I was attacked by a severe heart attack in a party, luckily surrounded by many people. Some of the sudden changes in my body was recognized by me and anticipated immediately. I got a very severe chest pain which was almost unbearable for more than a minute. I got the suspicion that I might be having heart attack, and immediately called my physician on the phone, and explained my condition and its severity. Because of the immediate guidance, I was directed immediately to have an aspirin which I used to carry with me as prescribed by my physician. It was quite a frightening experience for me to face such a heart attack, but somehow I managed to be calm until 911 arrived. I was immediately taken to the nearest hospital, where already my physician were present and have got everything setup according to my medical history. And it was in some matter of seconds that everything was in control. A doctor, who already have the complete knowledge of the medical history and fitness of the person, extra ordinarily ameliorate your recovery process. Hence such a concierge level program from Elite health, helped me a save my life, like many others.

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