Congenital Heart Defects in Children

Topics: Heart, Congenital heart defect, Blood Pages: 3 (1256 words) Published: January 20, 2011
Congenital Heart Defects in Children
Congenital heart defects in children are frightening conditions that are yet to be understood fully by cardiologists (Mayo Clinic). Ranging from a benign murmur to complete cardiac arrest, congenital heart defects are important disorders to be educated about (Fulton). Because of the potential severity of these illnesses, one should understand what is thought to cause this, forms of it, the risk involved, precautionary measures, and what the prognosis is. By having a comprehensive view on the topic, parents, teachers, health care professionals, and day care providers can have the knowledge to recognize signs and symptoms of congenital heart defects in children and treat them accordingly (National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute). By having a well-rounded view of this condition, prevention and action can be taken (Fulton). The defects begin before the baby is even born. After 22 days in utero, a fetus’s heart begins to beat. At this point in development, the heart is a simple tube that will soon begin to grow and resemble a heart. The heart then begins to bend and fold in on its self, and by the 28th day vessels and arteries creates the left and right sides of the heart. This life-sustaining organ is well on its way to becoming a full functioning pump that transports oxygen and nutrients, but at around 28 days a defect can form that could drastically alter the functioning of the heart (Mayo Clinic). Though the causes for defects are unknown, researchers believe that certain medications that the mother may have taken or even genetics could cause these flaws in the heart wall or valves (Mayo Clinic). There are several different types of heart defects and the majority fall into specific categories. These categories rang in severity and treatment options, but all describe various characteristics of potentially life threating conditions (National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute). The first is holes in the heart, which allow...
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