Narayana Health observes ‘Congenital Heart Disease Awareness Week’

Bengaluru, February 15, 2017: Narayana Health City in Bengaluru – one of India’s most preferred centre for referral and treatment of children born with congenital heart defects today launched a nation-wide awareness campaign to observe ‘Congenital Heart Disease Awareness Week’. This is aimed at not only creating awareness among the general populace but also among the referring physicians.

Most of the congenital heart defects can be detected within 6 months after birth. Usually there is a collaboration of symptoms for children with heart disease such as the child is not feeding well, has frequent breathlessness on little exertion or has a trace of blue skin (called as blue baby syndrome) and not gaining weight . A combination of such symptoms shows up from birth up to the age of 6 months when most of the congenital heart defects can be detected. The Paediatric Cardiac team at Narayana Health City feels that detection rate in Karnataka is very good as awareness is more and there are better facilities to treat such cases, whereas people coming from other parts of the country tend to come a bit late – the reason being lack of awareness and not many paediatric surgical centres of this magnitude such as Narayana Institute of Cardiac Sciences. They felt awareness is required to increase among the referral doctors as well. 

“It is the need of the hour to create awareness on early detection for congenital heart defects, which can save many children and help them grow as normal individuals”said Dr. Devi Shetty, Sr. Cardiac Surgeon and Chairman of Narayana Health. “One out of 140 children born anywhere in the world has a heart problem, it is one of the commonest congenital diseases. The good news is that most of them can be cured by cardiac surgery.  However our biggest problem is the delayed presentation. When a child with a hole in the heart doesn’t get operated at the appropriate time, lungs get damaged along with heart.  In the process, the risk of surgery increases as well as the long term results gets poor.  The best gift you can give to a child with the heart disease is early detection and early treatment” 

Around 8 to10 children per 1000 are born with congenital heart disease in India. Theincidence comes to around 1 to 2% of children born with congenital heartdisease in our country. “If parent or a sibling has a congenital heartdisease, then your risk increases marginally by 2 to 4 percent”informedDr. Sreesha Maiya, Sr. Consultant Paediatric Cardiologist at Narayana HealthCity“It definitely has some sort of relation to consanguineousmarriage or marriage within relations. Taking certain type of drugs in thefirst trimester or even alcohol could cause some birth defects, and congenitalheart problem could be one of them”, he said. “Wheneverdrugs are prescribed to a pregnant lady, we see the level of evidence that itcan cause harm to the foetus and accordingly prescribe only the safe drugs ifit is necessary”, he added. 

Around 70%of cases are treated with open heart surgery and the remaining through cardiaccatheter intervention. The most common problem in congenital heart defect isthe ‘hole in the heart’confirmed Dr. Maiya. The treatmentis covered by various government health schemes for people from economicallybackward sections. Children born with congenital heart disease will suffer allthrough life if not detected and corrected early. If the treatment is on time,these children could be playing just like any other normal child. The trend allover the world has always been the same and doesn’t show any increase ordecrease in the number of children born with congenital heart defects. 

On this occasion, a large number of childrencame together to mark the occasion of Congenital Heart Disease Awareness Day atNarayana Health City along with their parents and celebrated the day withentertainment and games. Doctors who treated them also participated in the galaevent aimed at creating more awareness

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