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Congenital Heart Defects Awareness Week

Posted Feb 10 2009 12:41pm
As everyone by now knows, Aiden was born with a few significant heart defects. Aiden was born with both an A/V Canal Defect and Tetralogy of Fallot, complicated with hypo-plasia of the right ventricle.

The 2nd anniversary of Aiden's open heart surgery (or Happy Heart Day) is coming up on February 15 - the day after Valentine's Day.

This week - February 7th - 14th is National Congenital Heart Defect Week


Most all people know that February is National Heart Month. We are all familiar with wear Red Dress Day, we are all familiar of the importance of understanding adult and youth acquired heart disease. It is a well known fact that heart disease is the #1 killer among women. Because everyone relates February with Valentine's Day and love, chocolate candy hearts, and the color red it only makes sense February would be chosen as National Heart Month. But if you were to go ask the average person on the street if they ever heard of Congenital Heart Defects, I am sure your response would be quite different from those about acquired heart disease.

By no means do we want to down play the importance of acquired heart disease and the need for prevention and intervention. But we do need to make aware the need for more research and awareness to those who are BORN with Congenital Heart Defects. It was not lifestyle or age that brought on these defects, and there was no way to stop it from happening.

To the parents who have a child born with a heart defect it is mind blowing how little awareness there is for the #1 Most Common Birth Defect. There has, fortunately, been a greater amount of funding going into CHD research, however, there is still a much greater need for more.

Please help join in the Awareness this week and pass this on.

  • Congenital Heart Defect (CHD) is a defect of the heart present at birth.
  • CHD's are the #1 most common birth defect, affecting 1 in every 100 babies born.
  • CHD's are the #1 most common cause of infant death related to birth defects within the first year of life.
  • There are at least 35 different known Congential Heart Defects.
  • 1 in 10 born with a CHD will have a fatal defect.
  • There is no known cause for CHD's, however, genetics and environmental factors can play a role in the defects. Scientist have been able to discover over 100 mutations that are directly linked to the heart.
  • There is no known cure or prevention for CHD's. Most born with heart defects will require some form of palliative surgical intervention.
  • Through research and medical advancements the mortality rate after surgery has significantly decreased in the past 20-30 years. On average it is about 5% compared to the 30% it was.
  • There are an estimated 1 - 1.2 million living with a CHD in the US.
  • Nearly twice as many children die each year from CHD's, than from all forms of childhood cancers combined.

Spread the word (feel free to copy this note and tag your friends!) and wear your Red & Blue on Feb. 14th!
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