Congenital Heart Defects in Children

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Topics: Down syndrome
Congenital Heart Defects in Children
Imagine giving birth to a beautiful, healthy looking, baby girl and holding her in your arms for the first time. Now imagine a doctor telling you that this little miracle has a possible life threatening congenital heart defect. I can because this happened to me. My daughter suffers from three different congenital heart defects. According to the American Medical Association Family Medical Guide, about 8 out of every 1,000 children are born with heart abnormalities, or congenital heart defects.( AMAFMG p. 389) The 4 most recurring defects are Pulmonary Stenosis, Aortic Stenosis, Atrial Septal Defect and Ventricular Septal Defect. ( Radiologic Technology 2008)

The most common form of congenital defect is Ventricular Septal Defect or VSD. A VSD is an opening of the septum that separates the left and right side of the heart, or commonly known as a hole in the heart. This is found between the ventricles. The severity of the symptoms vary based on the size of the hole. Smaller defects often don’t present any symptoms, where patients with larger defects will often have a distinct heart murmur. The Atrial Septal Defect, or ASD, is a defect or hole in the wall between the atria, which is the two upper chambers of the heart. Children that suffer from atrial defects typically don’t show any symptoms. These defects generally do not require any intervention and close on their own over time. Two other types of defects are the Pulmonary and Aortic Stenosis’s . A Pulmonary Stenosis is the narrowing of the heart valve that normally allows blood flow from the heart to the lungs. The Aortic Stenosis is the narrowing of the heart valve that lets the blood flow from the heart into the main artery of the body, or aorta, and out to the rest of the body. Both types require the heart to work overtime to provide the necessary blood flow that the body needs. [Heading 2]1
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