Timely screening of pediatric heart defects can treat the condition

New Delhi : Congenital heart defect are defects of the heart that occur due to improper development of the heart during the pregnancy. It is important to know that most cases of congenital heart defect have no known cause and can occur in any pregnancy. Another condition is blueness (cyanosis) of any sort which is a marker of underlying cardiac defect in the overwhelming majority of children and should not be ignored.
“Some types of congenital heart defects are known to occur more often when mother comes in contact with certain substances like antiepileptic medication, during the first few weeks of pregnancy while the babies heart is developing. Uncontrolled diabetes and viral infection in the first few months of pregnancy along with life style practices such as smoking also predisposed to higher incidents of congenital heart disease during pregnancy. Even if the mother had congenital heart defect or has a child with congenital heart defect the vast majority of subsequent pregnancies will be normal.” Said Dr. Kulbhushan Singh Dagar, Sr. Director – Chief Surgeon & Head – Neonatal & Congenital Heart Surgery, Max Super Speciality Hospital, Saket

Symptoms of shortness of breath, coughing and wheezing (asthmatic attack) can be caused both by underlying cardiac defects or stand alone pulmonary pathology example exposure to allergens. Heart Failure (inability of the heart to effectively pump blood) can cause fluid to build up in your lungs (pulmonary edema) in and around your airways. The latter causes sign and symptoms such as shortness of breath coughing and wheezing that may mimic asthma. Not all the patients with wheezing will have an underlying cardiac disorder. However before labeling it as a allergic phenomena a thorough cardiac examination, usually including an echo would be in order.

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