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 cyanosis (being 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.