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Heart defects are most often associated with congenital defects, which in various ways affect its functioning.
- Heart defects are contributing to problems with the oxygenation of the body – associated with the circulation of oxygen in the bloodstream. Can be distinguished here:
- ductus arteriosus – a short-circuit defect of the vascular system of the lungs and blood,
- atrial septal defect,
- ventricular septal defects,
- atrioventricular canal.
The problems that result in insufficient blood flow to the lungs (manifested mostly a bluish skin color) as:
- triple atresia,
- fusion of the lung,
- transposition of the great arteries,
- tetralogy of Fallot,
- double outlet right ventricle,
- persistent truncus arteries.
The problems that can restrict the flow of blood in the body, associated with underdeveloped or ventricles clots in blood vessels, as:
- aortic stenosis,
- hypoplastic left heart syndrome.
In some cases, it may occur, a combination of several heart defects, which implies a more complex issue associated with several categories.
Heart defects often do not show any symptoms, and most frequently, the disease is detected during routine testing. However, when symptoms occur, they may include:
- breathing problems,
- blue skin tone – cyanosis,
- problems with proper nutrition,
- excessive fatigue,
- stomach or swelling around the eyes,
- fast heartbeat.
The causes of heart defects
In most cases, the causes of congenital heart defects are not entirely understood, but some of the types of defects are combined with:
- viral diseases that affected women during the first trimester of pregnancy, such as rubella,
- exposure of the mother of the viral infection or industrial solvents, including some drugs, alcohol, or stimulants,
- genetic causes – heart disease, in the mother, increase the risk of heart defects in the baby
- congenital heart diseases associated with other damage to the fetus.
Diagnosis and treatment of congenital heart defect
Diagnosis of heart defects most frequently include:
- physical examination, including cardiac auscultation with a stethoscope,
- chest X-ray,
- electrocardiogram testing of heart rates patterns,
- cardiac catheterization.
Some heart defects can be diagnosed when the child is developing in the womb. Less serious diseases may remain undiagnosed until the child it matures, at the time there are some signs of heart defects.
Problems with heart defects tend to be simple and more complex, so some only require a permanent observation and pharmacological treatment, while others require surgery or cardiac catheterization (often already in the first hours of life).
The prognosis of heart disease is dependent on the type of heart defect. The majority of children, despite the defects of the heart, can live normally, but are sometimes the cases in which there is an increased risk of infections of the heart and congestion. It is often necessary to use antibiotics, certain dental procedures, and surgery that help to prevent inflammation endocarditis or infection of the lining of the heart.
The majority of cases of heart diseases can not be countered. However, you can use some precautionary measures like:
- pregnant women should avoid alcohol, certain medications, and stimulants,
- expectant mothers should ensure appropriate treatment of chronic diseases like diabetes, seizure disorders, or phenylketonuria, as well as providing a proper diet (such as rich in folic acid).