Congenital heart defects

So, I was searching through many articles and videos about cardiovascular diseases and came across this documentary on congenital heart defects (CHD) . CHD are known to be the first birth defect and of which majority of the time the cause is not known. This surprised me, as cardiologists would find it much more difficult than it already is, to know how to diagnose or prevent it in the future.

Congenital heart defects (CHD) is the defect when the heart is underdeveloped, so enough blood is not supplied to the heart muscle, or when the valves have not formed properly when the baby is in the mother’s womb (pre-birth).

The fact that CHD can sometimes be undetected throughout an individual’s whole life is something I found extremely shocking as this defect has a life-changing impact on one’s life. CHD’s can be detected by heart murmurs, where unusual sounds are heard between heartbeats. In infants, this is usually known as an innocent murmur .A symptom when the baby is born is being synoptic (blue in colour) because of the limited blood flow and this is more subtle in infants of darker and black ethnicities. A pulse oximeter probe is therefore used and in this time period where “black lives matter” is an important topic, it is crucial for everyone to know how to detect these defects in darker minorities.

Fetal intervention is being used to correct forms of CHD before birth and due to the research from the year 2000 onwards, treatments to congenital heart defects are being found. They include heart transplants, surgery and catheter procedures depending on age and severity. During this current pandemic, where deaths are increasingly mounting up I think that the technological advancements to assist with such heart defects are such an advantage.

Start of my journey!

Even though this quarantine has been a tough time, I guess it’s also a new learning experience. However, I had some time to think about why studying medicine is for me. Through an amount of online resources such as a virtual work experience, the fact that medicine requires great responsibility, as we all know, was really emphasised. But this allowed me to gain a deeper insight into what medicine really consisted of. So I guess, this summer holiday is going to be one with a great deal of researching and exploring to do. To be honest, the road to medicine will be a long and bumpy one but with a determined mindset I aim to  complete this journey successfully .

I am interested in cardiovascular diseases and other serious conditions, which are increasingly affecting the society today so expect blogs on related issues!