Congenital Heart Defect Awareness Day is observed annually on February 14 to spread awareness around CHDs or congenital heart defects which are present at birth and can range from mild to severe. These heart defects can affect the structure of a baby’s heart and the way it works. From impacting the heart’s ability to pump blood effectively, developmental delays, to long-term health risks such as heart failure, arrhythmias, and stroke, congenital heart defects can cause a range of health issues. In India, approximately 2 lakh children are born with congenital heart disease every year. Around one-fifth of these suffer from critical heart disease. (Also read | Newborn screening: What it is, how is it done, ideal time for test, why is it important and more)
Congenital defects can occur due to genetic factors, environment factors like exposure to toxins, mother’s diet and health condition or certain medications taken during critical periods of foetal development which could impact formation of organs and systems in the unborn baby.
Congenital Heart Defect Awareness Day date
Congenital Heart Defect Awareness Day is observed on February 14 every year. The day is promoted extensively by various organizations, including the Paediatric Congenital Heart Association and the American Heart Association, to raise awareness about congenital heart defects and advocate for affected individuals and families.
Congenital Heart Defect Awareness Day significance
Congenital heart defects need to be addressed immediately. Early detection and treatment enable improving prognosis and reducing complications for individuals born with congenital heart defects (CHDs). Heightened awareness around congenital heart defects and advocacy efforts can help increase funding for research and driving advancements in treatment options.
More information about risk factors, prevention strategies, and etc can help improve quality of life of children with CHDs.
Types of congenital heart defects
Bicuspid aortic valve (BAV): Bicuspid aortic valve is a congenital heart condition characterised by the aortic valve having two cusps instead of the typical three, potentially leading to valve dysfunction and other cardiac complications.
Ventricular septal defects (VSD): Ventricular septal defects are congenital heart abnormalities characterized by an abnormal opening in the wall that separates the heart’s lower chambers, leading to mixing of oxygen-rich and oxygen-poor blood.
Atrial septal defects (ASD): Atrial septal defects are congenital heart defects characterized by an abnormal opening in the wall between the heart’s upper chambers, leading to the mixing of oxygen-rich and oxygen-poor blood.
While some heart defects can be treated easily, others may require surgical intervention or other treatment. Children with CCHD need surgery or treatment within their first year of life to survive and lead a healthy life.