Treating Congenital Heart Defects.
Treatment for CHD depends on the type and severity of the condition. For minor problems, treatment may never be needed, while others may require medication or heart surgery; often throughout adulthood.
Just 60 years ago, the majority of babies born with a congenital heart defect did not survive to see their first birthday. Today, eight out of ten survive to adulthood*.
But there is much more that can be done.
Help us make a difference.
*Source: The BHF
What causes congenital heart defects?
In most cases, there is no apparent cause of congenital heart defects. We just don’t know why a heart hasn’t developed normally.
However, some things do increase the risk of CHD. These include:
- Down’s syndrome
- Infections (of the mother) during pregnancy (e.g. rubella)
- Where the mother has taken certain medications while pregnant (e.g. anticoagulants or antiepileptics)
- Where the mother has experienced diabetes during pregnancy
- Inherited chromosome/gene defects
- The mother smoking or drinking alcohol during pregnancy
CHD is sometimes picked up during an ultrasound scan before a baby is born. However, in many cases CHD is not diagnosed until after the baby is born. Some conditions may not be discovered until the child becomes an adult.