The Most Common Birth Defect: CHD Awareness Week


Congenital coronary heart defect consciousness week is February 7-14. In that week (and each week), 705 infants will likely be born within the United States with a congenital coronary heart defect (CHD). A CHD is a coronary heart drawback that’s current at delivery. It occurs to 1 out of each 100 newborns. That’s about 40,000 infants yearly, simply within the United States. CHD is the commonest delivery defect.

Almost all of us know somebody affected by CHD. But not everybody is aware of the details.   
This consciousness week, let’s begin with data.

What Everyone Should Know About CHD

Here are the 5 details that everybody ought to learn about congenital coronary heart defects, and the way they have an effect on individuals.

1. CHD Is Lifelong

When you say congenital coronary heart defect, most individuals consider a new child. But as these infants develop into youngsters and adults, they nonetheless want care for his or her CHD. CHDs are lifelong circumstances that want ongoing monitoring and remedy. That’s why UVA Health gives a CHD clinic for adults. We deal with sufferers of all ages with CHD.

2. It Can Happen to Anyone

Some CHDs run in households. But most occur in households with no historical past or danger elements. About 15% of CHDs have a genetic hyperlink. So if somebody in your loved ones has had a CHD, it’s best to look into genetic counseling and testing.

3. We Don’t Always Know Someone Has a CHD When They’re Born

Fortunately, with enhancing know-how, we’ve gotten a lot better at catching CHDs. But in some instances, individuals attain maturity with out realizing they’ve a CHD. In reality, CHDs stay the main explanation for sudden grownup coronary heart deaths for individuals below age 35.

4. It Impacts More Than Your Heart

Congenital coronary heart defects can have an effect on extra than simply the center. When different organs are affected, you will get issues like listening to loss or bother respiratory. Many youngsters with CHDs additionally might have developmental disabilities or delays.

5. It’s Worldwide

Even although lots of our focus throughout CHD week is on the United States, CHDs occur in every single place. That makes it an enormous challenge when it comes to well being fairness.

Need Care for a Congenital Heart Defect?

We provide a full vary of providers for individuals of all ages with CHD.  

More Treatments Than Ever

At UVA Health Children’s, our congenital coronary heart defect program has been a prime precedence — from discovering CHDs early with fetal echoes to increasing remedy choices. For a few of the commonest coronary heart defects, we will provide minimally invasive choices. POLeR is our remedy for two frequent septal defects, generally known as a “hole in the heart.”

For different circumstances, gadgets can be utilized to assist maintain the center beating regardless of critical issues. Ventricular help gadgets, or VADs, are available in all kinds of choices, every excellent for a distinct state of affairs. And by ensuring our sufferers have entry to each choice, we will provide the very best high quality of remedy to each affected person.

But for just some, these remedy choices received’t be sufficient.

Heart Transplants in Virginia

This yr 40,000 youngsters will likely be born with congenital coronary heart defects. Of these, 10,000, or 25%, may have a vital congenital coronary heart defect. This means they’ll want remedy earlier than they flip 1. Fortunately, remedy is normally profitable. But generally, these defects are inoperable and a toddler wants a brand new coronary heart from a donor.

Each yr, roughly 500 pediatric coronary heart transplants are carried out, and greater than half of these are for CHDs. In 2023, UVA Health Children’s carried out 18 pediatric transplants. This places us within the prime 5% of pediatric coronary heart transplant facilities nationally.

Just a little bit over a decade in the past, many youngsters needed to go away the state for a coronary heart transplant. Now Virginia’s children can get a coronary heart transplant at UVA Health the place we have now higher than nationwide common outcomes.

Thriving With CHD

The greatest query dad and mom have when their baby has a CHD is what the remainder of their life will seem like. And the reality is, that’s as much as them. With the enhancing remedy choices for CHDs, it’s extra probably than ever that they’ll dwell a protracted life.

And whereas they’ll want further checkups (particularly earlier than enjoying sports activities or making an attempt for being pregnant) that doesn’t imply their CHD will likely be a limitation.

People with CHD have develop into skilled soccer gamers, snowboarders, actors, musicians, dancers, and extra. With improved remedies and follow-up, there are extra potentialities than ever for individuals with CHD.


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