Look out for symptoms

2019-02-19 06:01
If your child has any of these symptoms, have them tested for a heart defect.

If your child has any of these symptoms, have them tested for a heart defect.

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As part of commemorating International Congenital Heart Awareness Week, a paediatric cardiologist from the Red Cross War Memorial Children’s Hospital in Rondebosch, Professor Liesl Zühlke, has advised parents to look out for signs of any heart defect in their babies.

The annual awareness drive, which took place from Thursday 7 to Thursday 14 February, is aimed to educate the public about the seriousness Congenital Heart Disease (CHD).

This disease is described as a defect in the development of the heart or vessels that occurs at birth, resulting in the malfunctioning of the heart.

Zühlke says children from zero to six months of age are at high risk and is very difficult to treat if discovered at a later stage. She says it can also be fatal, especially in the first year of a child’s life.

She says in most cases, surgery needs to be performed to fix defects.

Zühlke urges parents to be cautious and talk to their health practitioners about their concerns.

“They can ask for regular checks during their normal antenatal ultrasounds throughout the pregnancy as well as immediately after birth. It’s better to deal with and perform the operation at the earliest stage.”

According to her, signs of heart defects include blueish skin, lips and/or tongue, shortness of breath, a fast heartbeat, rapid breathing, lack of energy, sweating, not wanting to feed, failure to thrive, and cold hands and feet. “If some of the above symptoms are present, check in with your doctor as soon as possible and specifically ask him or her to check for a heart defect. If your little one has been diagnosed with CHD, it’s important to work closely with your doctor to manage your child’s condition.

“While surgery can repair the defect, a healthy lifestyle and receiving ongoing treatment in the form of medication will be part of your child’s ongoing journey towards better health.”

Zühlke says although the number of diagnoses in South Africa seems to be low, this does not mean few babies are affected by this.

“Chances are we are not making enough diagnoses. It’s easy to miss it, hence we need parents to be very aware of the signs and what to do if they have any suspicions,” she says.

Zühlke further explains that the challenges faced by the country include a shortage of specialists, poor screening rates, late bookings and early discharge from hospital, all of which contribute to the fact that “many children with CHD are missed”.

She says marking a week like this is important to spread the message, especially in the disadvantaged communities, thus lowering the risk of the disease.

V For more information search for South African Heart Association, contact kidsheartsSA@gmail.com, visit their website www.pcssa.org for information for doctors, patients and families, and follow them on Twitter @kidsheartSA.

As part of commemorating International Congenital Heart Awareness Week, a paediatric cardiologist from the Red Cross War Memorial Children’s Hospital in Rondebosch, Professor Liesl Zühlke, has advised parents to look out for signs of any heart defect in their babies.

The annual awareness drive, which took place from Thursday 7 to Thursday 14 February, is aimed to educate the public about the seriousness Congenital Heart Disease (CHD). This disease is described as a defect in the development of the heart or vessels that occurs at birth, resulting in the malfunctioning of the heart.

Zühlke says children from zero to six months of age are at high risk and is very difficult to treat if discovered at a later stage. She says it can also be fatal, especially in the first year of a child’s life.

She says in most cases, surgery needs to be performed to fix defects.

Zühlke urges parents to be cautious and talk to their health practitioners about their concerns.

“They can ask for regular checks during their normal antenatal ultrasounds throughout the pregnancy as well as immediately after birth. It’s better to deal with and perform the operation at the earliest stage.”

According to her, signs of heart defects include blueish skin, lips and/or tongue, shortness of breath, a fast heartbeat, rapid breathing, lack of energy, sweating, not wanting to feed, failure to thrive, and cold hands and feet. “If some of the above symptoms are present, check in with your doctor as soon as possible and specifically ask him or her to check for a heart defect. If your little one has been diagnosed with CHD, it’s important to work closely with your doctor to manage your child’s condition.

Zühlke explains that the challenges include a shortage of specialists, poor screening rates, late bookings and early discharge from hospital, all of which contribute to the fact that “many children with CHD are missed”. She says marking a week like this is important to spread the message, especially in the disadvantaged communities, thus lowering the risk of the disease.

As part of commemorating International Congenital Heart Awareness Week, a paediatric cardiologist from the Red Cross War Memorial Children’s Hospital in Rondebosch, Professor Liesl Zühlke, has advised parents to look out for signs of any heart defect in their babies.

The annual awareness drive, which took place from Thursday 7 to Thursday 14 February, is aimed to educate the public about the seriousness Congenital Heart Disease (CHD).

This disease is described as a defect in the development of the heart or vessels that occurs at birth, resulting in the malfunctioning of the heart.

According to Zühlke, it is a high risk in children from zero to six months of age and is very difficult to treat if discovered at a later stage, and can be fatal especially in the first year of a child’s life.

She says in most cases, surgery needs to be performed to fix defects.

Zühlke urges parents to be cautious and talk to their health practitioners about their concerns.

“They can ask for regular checks during their normal antenatal ultrasounds throughout the pregnancy as well as immediately after birth. It’s better to deal with and perform the operation at the earliest stage.”

According to her, signs of heart defects include blueish skin, lips and/or tongue, shortness of breath, a fast heartbeat, rapid breathing, lack of energy, sweating, not wanting to feed, failure to thrive, and cold hands and feet.

V For more information search for South African Heart Association, contact kidsheartsSA@gmail.com, visit their website www.pcssa.org for information for doctors, patients and families.

As part of commemorating International Congenital Heart Awareness Week, a paediatric cardiologist from the Red Cross War Memorial Children’s Hospital in Rondebosch, Professor Liesl Zühlke, has advised parents to look out for signs of any heart defect in their babies.

The annual awareness drive, which took place from Thursday 7 to Thursday 14 February, is aimed to educate the public about the seriousness Congenital Heart Disease (CHD).

This disease is described as a defect in the development of the heart or vessels that occurs at birth, resulting in the malfunctioning of the heart.

According to Zühlke, it is a high risk in children from zero to six months of age and is very difficult to treat if discovered at a later stage, and can be fatal especially in the first year of a child’s life. She says in most cases, surgery needs to be performed to fix defects.

Zühlke urges parents to be cautious and talk to their health practitioners about their concerns.

“They can ask for regular checks during their normal antenatal ultrasounds throughout the pregnancy as well as immediately after birth. It’s better to deal with and perform the operation at the earliest stage.”

According to her, signs of heart defects include blueish skin, lips and/or tongue, shortness of breath, a fast heartbeat, rapid breathing, lack of energy, sweating, not wanting to feed, failure to thrive, and cold hands and feet“If some of the above symptoms are present, check in with your doctor as soon as possible and specifically ask him or her to check for a heart defect. If your little one has been diagnosed with CHD, it’s important to work closely with your doctor to manage your child’s condition.

“While surgery can repair the defect, a healthy lifestyle and receiving ongoing treatment in the form of medication will be part of your child’s ongoing journey towards better health.”

Zühlke says although the number of diagnoses in South Africa seems to be low, this does not mean few babies are affected by this.

“Chances are we are not making enough diagnoses. It’s easy to miss it, hence we need parents to be very aware of the signs and what to do if they have any suspicions,” she says.

Zühlke further explains that the challenges faced by the country include a shortage of specialists, poor screening rates, late bookings and early discharge from hospital, all of which contribute to the fact that “many children with CHD are missed”.

She says marking a week like this is important to spread the message, especially in the disadvantaged communities, thus lowering the risk of the disease.

V For more information search for South African Heart Association, contact kidsheartsSA@gmail.com, visit their website www.pcssa.org for information for doctors, patients and families, and follow them on Twitter @kidsheartSA.

As part of commemorating International Congenital Heart Awareness Week, a paediatric cardiologist from the Red Cross War Memorial Children’s Hospital in Rondebosch, Professor Liesl Zühlke, has advised parents to look out for signs of any heart defect in their babies.

The annual awareness drive, which took place from Thursday 7 to Thursday 14 February, is aimed to educate the public about the seriousness Congenital Heart Disease (CHD).

This disease is described as a defect in the development of the heart or vessels that occurs at birth, resulting in the malfunctioning of the heart.

Zühlke says children from zero to six months of age are at high risk and is very difficult to treat if discovered at a later stage. She says it can also be fatal, especially in the first year of a child’s life.

She says in most cases, surgery needs to be performed to fix defects.

Zühlke urges parents to be cautious and talk to their health practitioners about their concerns.

“They can ask for regular checks during their normal antenatal ultrasounds throughout the pregnancy as well as immediately after birth. It’s better to deal with and perform the operation at the earliest stage.”

According to her, signs of heart defects include blueish skin, lips and/or tongue, shortness of breath, a fast heartbeat, rapid breathing, lack of energy, sweating, not wanting to feed, failure to thrive, and cold hands and feet. “If some of the above symptoms are present, check in with your doctor as soon as possible and specifically ask him or her to check for a heart defect. If your little one has been diagnosed with CHD, it’s important to work closely with your doctor to manage your child’s condition.

“While surgery can repair the defect, a healthy lifestyle and receiving ongoing treatment in the form of medication will be part of your child’s ongoing journey towards better health.”

Zühlke says although the number of diagnoses in South Africa seems to be low, this does not mean few babies are affected by this.

Zühlke further explains that the challenges faced by the country include a shortage of specialists, poor screening rates, late bookings and early discharge from hospital, all of which contribute to the fact that “many children with CHD are missed”.

She says marking a week like this is important to spread the message, especially in the disadvantaged communities, thus lowering the risk of the disease.

V For more information search for South African Heart Association, contact kidsheartsSA@gmail.com, visit their website www.pcssa.org for information for doctors, patients and families.

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