The global prevalence of congenital heart diseases is constantly escalating, where the disease manifests 8-10 in every 1000 live births. The incidences are rising in Indian prominence as well, with almost one in every hundred children being born with congenital heart disease. The estimated number of children born with congenital heart disease in India is more than 2 lakh per year which is an alarming concern for Paediatric Cardiologists.
Congenital heart disease (CHD) is a multi-factorial condition, with genetics playing a significant role. Symptoms of CHD in neonates may include recurrent chest infections, breathlessness, difficulty feeding, and delayed growth. In some cases, advanced parental age may be a factor in triggering congenital disorders. Congenital heart disease may also be caused by maternal infections, illnesses, or lifestyle disorders like diabetes, as well as medications taken during pregnancy for conditions such as epilepsy.
The condition can be treated and managed by various surgical and non-surgical measures. Some of the most prevailing treatment strategies for CHD include minimal invasive device closures, pacemaker implantation, balloon valvuloplasty, and cath-study, followed by adequate surgical care. Regular echocardiographic follow-up and advanced tertiary care help children with CHD grow properly and lead healthy life.
Various approaches that can prevent congenital heart defects in newborns include:
• Appropriate pre-conception counseling for young couples
• foetal echo screening, especially for families with a history of CHD and babies conceived through assisted reproductive techniques
• Use of safer drugs during pregnancy
• Mass echocardiographic screening during early mandatory vaccination
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