Health Watch
  • Congenital Heart Defect Awareness Day is observed on the 14th of February.
  • Congenital heart defect (CHD) is one of the most common birth defects.
  • The day stresses on the need to increase awareness on CHD and funds for CHD research.

Congenital Heart Defect Awareness Day is observed annually on the 14th February to honor everyone born with a heart defect. Congenital Heart Defect (CHD) is the most common birth defect. The day marks to raise awareness about the need for funding CHD research, and the need for organ and blood donations.

Some heart organizations urge pediatricians to educate adolescents and young adults and their parents about the unique care considerations for those living with CHD. Congenital Heart Defect Awareness Week is observed from February 7th to 14th.
Congenital Heart Defect Awareness Day 2017
Congenital Heart Defect Awareness Day 2017

Importance of Congenital Heart Defect Awareness Day

The purpose of the Congenital Heart Defect Awareness day is to increase research on the causes, early diagnosis and effective prevention strategies. Organ donation and a heart transplant can save lives and so awareness on the same has a vital role. The need for blood donations to save lives.

CHD Research

It is important to raise funds for CHD research to save lives of millions born with CHD. According to the Children's Heart Foundation (CHF), for every dollar from the National Institute of Health, only a penny is provided for pediatric illnesses. From that penny, only a small portion is used to support CHD research.

Organ and Blood Donations

Children with CHD may need to undergo a heart transplant to survive. But, only 30% of the children who are in the need of heart transplant receive one on time. The day encourages organ and blood donations to save children with congenital heart defect.
Congenital Heart Defect Awareness Day also aims to inform people about the support groups for families with children suffering from CHDs. Communities for CHD provide support for the families both financially and emotionally. The support groups help parents, children and other family members to reach out to others and help towards the journey of living with CHDs.

Congenital Heart Defect

Congenital heart defect is the most common birth defect which involves a defect in the walls of the heart, valves, veins and arteries. A defect can disrupt the normal blood flow through the heart. CHD affects 8 out of every 1,000 newborns. The most common form of CHD is the ventricular septal defect, which occurs in 30 to 40 percent of all children with CHD. About 8% of the CHD is due to gross chromosomal abnormalities. Three percent of CHD is due to classical Mendelian gene effects.
  • More than 35,000 babies in the US are born with CHD
  • About 1 million people alive are born with a heart defect in the US
  • In Australia, six babies are born with a heart defect.
  • Approximately 32,000 children below 18 years are living with CHD in Australia
  • Most of the newborns with CHD die before turning one.
  • About 50% of the children with CHD require surgery to correct the defect.
  • Women with CHD are eight times more likely to experience cardiovascular complications during pregnancy
With the advances in medical and surgical therapies, more than 90% of infants born with a CHD will live to see their 18th birthday. However, CHD specialists and primary care providers should work together towards addressing the nutritional needs, exercise intolerance or restrictions. Psychosocial or cognitive issues that may arise during the adolescent and young adult periods should also be addressed.

Guidance should be offered for women with CHD with respect to healthy sexual development, cardiac-specific risk factors, including birth control, genetics, and the ability to safely carry a pregnancy.

Health care system should be changed to improve the public health outcomes for CHD patients by enabling health care professionals to evaluate health outcomes, establish standard care and look out for opportunities to improve treatment for CHD.

Reference :
  1. Congenital Heart Defects - (

Source: Medindia

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