Heart diseases that are present at birth are called "Congenital heart diseases" and there are over 35 different such heart problems that may be discovered in a newborn. Some of these require no treatment as they are self correcting while others may require either minor or major reconstructive surgery of the heart.
Hence if your newborn baby or child is diagnosed with heart disease do not get worried until you find out the extent of the problem. Remember 8 to 10 babies out of 1000 live births have congenital heart disease.
Congenital heart diseases can either cause obstruction of blood flow in the heart or abnormal pattern of blood flow through the heart. In rare cases certain structures of the heart may not develop completely. Hence depending on the defect it can be either structural or functional problem.
Many of the heart defects can be discovered during the prenatal period and a decision taken if necessary to abort the baby.
Congenital heart disease can be broadly classified as "Cyanotic" or "Acyanotic". Certain congenital heart defects can lead to inadequate oxygenation of blood causing bluish discoloration of skin. This is termed as Cyanosis
. The babies born with cyanosis are usually called "Blue babies". Deoxygenated blood from the right side of the heart mixes with the oxygenated blood of the left side. Cyanosis may show at birth, infancy or later in childhood. Most children with cyanotic heart disease need palliative surgeries, or open-heart surgery at an early age.
Absence of the bluish discoloration in congenital heart defects is called acyanosis. Some of the acyanotic heart defects are Atrial Septal Defect (ASD), Ventricular Septal Defect (VSD), Patent Ductus Arteriosus (PDA), Aortic Stenosis (AS), Pulmonary Stenosis (PS) and Coarctation of Aorta (COA)
. These conditions may not manifest themselves at birth. Some infants with acyanotic heart diseases fail to thrive and have breathing difficulties. Treatment may depend on the severity of the disease and symptoms.
A cardiac murmur
is an extra whooshing sound during
the heartbeat due to the turbulence of blood flow in the heart or blood