CHD Awareness Week takes place every year from February 7 to February 14. Congenital heart defect, or congenital heart disease, is a heart condition that is the leading cause of death for both men and women in the United States. CHD Awareness Week is essential for creating awareness about the disease and raising more funds for research that will save lives.
History of CHD Awareness Week
Congenital heart disease is a condition that affects the structure of a person’s heart. The word ‘congenital’ means that the disease is present at birth. C.H.D. may present itself in the form of a hole in the heart or missing and deformed parts of the heart.
Prior to 1940, there was minimal progress in the treatment of the disease. It wasn’t until 1938 that Doctor Robert Edward Gross performed the first ligation of patent ductus arteriosus. After this, there were a number of positive advances in the treatment of the disease. In 1952, Doctor John F. Lewis performed the first intracardiac surgical procedure, successfully repairing an atrial septal defect. Making a huge mark in 1983, the first arterial operation was performed on an 11-day-old baby.
Researchers have not yet been able to pinpoint the cause of some forms of C.H.D. However, certain risk factors may lead to the development of the disease. These factors include genetics and heredity, diabetes, certain medications, smoking, consuming alcohol, and having rubella while pregnant. The presence of C.H.D can be detected from symptoms such as arrhythmias or an irregular heart rhythm, shortness of breath, unusual tiredness, swelling of body tissue or organs, as well as a bluish skin tint.
Due to advances in modern science, C.H.D is no longer a death sentence as over 90% of people with the disease survive into adulthood. There are more adults living with C.H.D. than there are children, which is a step in the right direction.
CHD Awareness Week timeline
Doctor Helen Taussig’s return to Johns Hopkins Hospital to direct the Cardiac Clinic shapes the development of pediatric cardiology.
Intracardiac repair becomes possible with the development of cardiopulmonary bypass technology.
C.H.D becomes the standard nomenclature for the disease.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention begins partnering with health organizations to understand the survival rate and healthcare of people with C.H.D.
CHD Awareness Week FAQs
Can a person live unaware that they have C.H.D?
Yes. Many people are not aware of the fact that they have C.H.D. It is best to see a cardiologist for a proper diagnosis.
Is there a cure for C.H.D?
Unfortunately, there is still no cure for C.H.D. However, with the right medical treatment, people with the disease can live long and healthy lives.
Can a baby be tested for C.H.D. before it’s born?
Yes. This can be confirmed by carrying out a special ultrasound known as fetal echocardiography, around 18 to 22 weeks into a pregnancy.
How to Observe CHD Awareness Week
Red is the color for CHD Awareness Week and for other heart-related causes. Wear anything red to show your support.
Create informative and factual posts about C.H.D. You can help spread the word about the disease to others who may know little about the disease.
Start or support a fundraiser for C.H.D. No matter how little, every cent counts towards conquering the disease.
5 Important Facts About C.H.D.
Chances of survival
95% of people born with non-critical C.H.D.s can survive until the age of 18 years.
All over the world, 1.35 million babies are affected by C.H.D. every year.
A major cause of death
In the United States, C.H.D. is the leading cause of death for both men and women.
Estimated number of affected people
In the United States, approximately two to three million people are living with C.H.D.
Most common birth defect
C.H.D. is the world’s most common birth defect.
Why CHD Awareness Week is Important
It creates awareness
CHD Awareness Week spreads more information and awareness about this prevalent disease. Knowledge is crucial to combating the disease and saving lives.
A fundraising opportunity
C.H.D. is a sphere of medicine that still requires more research. Creating awareness about the day also gives an opportunity for funds to be raised towards research.
For people living with the disease and their loved ones, CHD Awareness Week is a chance to share their stories and be heard. It allows us to show compassion and offer support.
CHD Awareness Week dates