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Heart disease in newborns

Heart disease in newborns, or congenital heart disease, is a variety of anatomical anomalies that have arisen in the structures of the heart and large vessels during fetal development. Heart defects in newborns are hard, they are often associated with circulatory failure.

Doctors secrete “blue” and “white” heart defects, depending on whether the disease is accompanied by cyanosis – blue skin and mucous membranes, which in turn is determined by the low content of oxygen in the blood and high – carbon dioxide.

In the “blue” vices, that is, flowing with cyanosis, are those in which venous blood enters the arterial bed in large quantities. It:

Fallot’s tetrad, which includes four anomalies – stenosis of the pulmonary artery, a defect in the interventricular septum, aortic right shift and an increase in the right ventricle;
pulmonary artery atresia – overgrowth of its lumen;
transposition of vessels – changing places of arteries and veins.
The group of “white” defects includes defects of the walls between the atria and between the ventricles.

Heart disease in newborns can also be represented by defects (contraction or insufficiency) of the valves – the aorta, mitral and tricuspid valves.

Why does heart disease occur in newborns?
In the fetus, the heart is formed from the 2nd to the 8th week of pregnancy. It is during this period that a heart defect may develop. The reasons for it can be:

heredity;
chromosomal abnormalities;
gene mutations;
unfavorable ecological situation;
mom’s infectious diseases in early pregnancy;
drugs, alcohol, smoking pregnant;
taking certain medications (amphetamines, antibiotics, anticonvulsants);
radiation, etc.
The risk group includes women older than 35 years old, those who had spontaneous miscarriages, the birth of a dead child.

How does the heart disease in newborns
Manifestations of heart disease can be very different depending on its type and influence on the general condition of the baby.

The disease may not manifest at all if the child’s body is able to fully develop. In other cases, the following symptoms are possible:

Cyanosis is blue in the nasolabial triangle, legs, arms, or the entire body. The baby may turn blue while feeding or crying. But it should be remembered that cyanosis occurs not only in heart disease, it is a symptom of disorders in the central nervous system, respiratory organs;
shortness of breath – it can occur when the baby is active, and even when he is calm. You can find out if your child has breathing quickly by counting the number of breaths during sleep. Norm – not more than 60 per minute;
heart palpitations, but in some heart defects bradycardia (slow heartbeat) develops.
In a child with a heart defect, there are also general symptoms, such as drowsiness, lethargy, the child sucks a bad breast, spits up, sleeps restlessly. With severe defects, the baby may suffocate, lose consciousness.

You can also suspect a heart defect when examining a child by the heart murmurs that occur on the 3-4th day, sometimes later.

How to identify heart disease in newborns
Heart disease can be detected before birth. On ultrasound during pregnancy, many changes are already noticeable from the 14th week. In such cases, childbirth is carried out in a special way and, if possible, the baby is immediately operated on.

If you suspect a heart defect in an unborn child, an ultrasound of the heart and an ECG are performed, and phonocardiography is used to identify cardiac murmurs. To clarify the nature of the defect and to develop a strategy for the operation, they perform transvascular catheterization and measure the pressure in the cavities of the heart, make X-rays. If necessary, conduct MRI.

How is heart disease treated in newborns?
With a mild defect, the child is under the constant supervision of a cardiologist. In severe cases, the operation is performed, and the sooner this is done, the greater the chances of treatment success.

Operations are performed both on the open heart, using the heart-lung machine, and the endoscopic method. Sometimes it is necessary to operate in several stages: first – to alleviate the condition of the baby, and only then radically eliminate the defect. With timely completed operations, the prognosis is favorable.

If time is missed, there may be a situation where it is already impossible to help the child. Without surgery, 70% of children die in the first year of life, 50% of them in the first month.

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