Tomorrow marks the beginning of congenital heart defect awareness week. How fitting that I bring it up today, on Valentine’s Day, a day all about love…and hearts.
As you know, I love using my blog to share important information with my readers and to help raise awareness. Congenital heart defect awareness week is one of those things I want to bring to your attention.
Congenital heart defect is something that is present at birth and it is a defect in the structure of the heart. The symptoms can depend on what the defect is and can range from no symptoms to life threatening symptoms.
The cause of congenital heart defects is not entirely known. Some are caused by illnesses, smoking, alcohol or drug use, and sometimes there is no known cause. It is thought that getting the rubella vaccine prior to pregnancy and getting enough folic acid during pregnancy can prevent some congenital heart defects, along with avoiding drugs, alcohol, and smoking.
Treatment also varies widely depending on the type of defect. Some require no treatment while others may require surgery or multiple surgeries. A very few others may require a heart transplant.
Heart defects are the most common type of birth defect and the leading cause of birth defect related deaths.
To learn how you can help, visit the Children’s Heart Foundation.