Congenital Heart Disease: Symptoms Parents Shouldn’t Miss In Their Children – News18

Children may tire easily, displaying signs of weakness even with minimal activity.

Dr Deepak Thakur, Consultant Pediatric Cardiology, Paras Health Gurugram shares how parents shouldn’t miss symptoms of Congenital Heart disease in their children

Congenital heart disease (CHD) refers to heart issues present from birth, affecting 8 to 10 out of 1000 live births globally. It varies in severity, from unnoticed to critical conditions requiring prompt intervention. CHD is often identified in early childhood or prenatally through routine ultrasound screenings, enabling healthcare professionals to plan post-birth care. Newborns with CHD may exhibit different symptoms.

Parents should be alert to these signs in their children:

  1. CyanosisBluish tint to the skin, lips, or nails indicates low oxygen levels in the blood, revealing inefficient oxygen pumping by the heart.
  2. Shortness of BreathChildren may breathe rapidly, especially during activities, suggesting inadequate oxygen delivery.
  3. FatigueChildren may tire easily, displaying signs of weakness even with minimal activity.
  4. Excessive SweatingSweating, especially after feeding or physical activity, may compensate for the heart’s reduced ability to pump blood.
  5. Poor Growth and FeedingDifficulty feeding may lead to inadequate growth due to the heart’s compromised function.
  6. Respiratory IssuesCHD increases the likelihood of respiratory infections or persistent cough, indicating an underlying heart condition.
  7. Swelling (Edema)Unexplained swelling in the face, legs, or abdomen may indicate heart failure.A doctor may detect a heart murmur during an examination, suggesting a congenital heart issue, prompting further testing. Tests like echocardiography, X-rays, and ECGs assess the heart’s structure and function.

    Recent advancements in Pediatric cardiology allow the identification of cardiac problems before birth through a fetal echocardiogram between weeks 16 and 24. Early detection enables appropriate planning for management and treatment, significantly improving outcomes for affected infants.