Congenital Heart Defect Awareness Day, observed on February 14 every year, aims to raise awareness and educate people about congenital heart defects (C.H.D.), a lethal constellation of birth defects that affects the heart. Do you know that eight out of every 1000 children born will have some form of a congenital heart defect? Yes, a congenital heart defect is a killer condition that claims the lives of thousands of people every year. Let’s learn more about C.H.D.
History of Congenital Heart Defect Awareness Day
A congenital heart defect, by definition, is a heart defect that exists at birth. One thing to note here is that this kind of heart ailment is a defect or abnormality and not a disease. A congenital heart defect is caused when the heart or blood vessels near the heart don’t develop normally before birth. The exact cause of these heart defects is still unknown. Although some researchers presume it to be genetic, only a few genes have been linked to heart defects. So, most researchers are in a general assumption that heart defects are likely due to environmental factors as well as multiple genetic factors. Moreover, the conditions vary widely in severity, so we cannot pinpoint the exact seriousness of the defect in children.
There is a high probability that people with this genetic condition will pass it along to their children. In fact, researchers say that there is a 50% chance that the child might have the same genetic condition. Congenital heart defects (C.H.D.) are usually diagnosed early, even before birth. However, some defects are harder to detect, and some defects might even be undiagnosed until much later in childhood.
World Congenital Heart Defect is an international holiday that is aimed to educate everyone about congenital heart defects as well as to honor and remember everyone born with a heart defect, and the families and friends touched by children with heart defects. So, if you or your children have a congenital heart defect, follow up regularly with your cardiologist and continue your treatment.
Congenital Heart Defect Awareness Day timeline
Leonardo da Vinci investigates the corona arteries.
William Harvey, a physician, discovers that blood moves around the body in a circulatory manner.
Friedrich Hoffmann observes that heart disease is due to the reduced passage of blood within the coronary arteries.
Advanced treatments like bypass surgeries and balloon angioplasty are used to treat heart diseases.
Congenital Heart Defect Awareness Day FAQs
How common is a congenital heart defect?
Congenital heart defects are the most common type of birth defect. They occur in about one percent of live births in the United States.
How do congenital heart defects affect the body?
They may change the normal flow of blood through the heart. There are many types of congenital heart defects. The most common defects involve the inside walls of the heart and the valves of arteries.
How many people die from birth defects each year?
Globally an estimated 90,000 deaths are associated with birth defects annually. This is around 30% of the global total.
How to Observe Congenital Heart Defect Awareness Day
Spread the news
The greatest way you can celebrate World Congenital Heart Defect Awareness Day is by raising awareness. Teach others about the symptoms and treatment of congenital heart defects.
Share your story
If you’re a survivor or battling a congenital heart defect, you can share your inspiring story to others about how to overcome or face it. You might encourage someone.
Post it on social media
You can post on social media about congenital heart defects. It’s a great way to let your friends, family, and followers know about the effects and treatment of congenital heart defects.
5 Serious Facts About Heart Defects
Newborns and heart defects
An approximate 100 to 200 deaths are due to unrecognized heart disease in newborns.
40,000 children with a heart defect
In the United States alone, about 40,000 children are born with heart defects each year.
It is common
Congenital heart defects are as common as autism.
No regularized system
There is no system in the U.S. to track C.H.D.s beyond early childhood.
The painful balance
The number of adults living with C.H.D.s is at least equal to the number of children living with C.H.D.s.
Why Congenital Heart Defect Awareness Day is Important
It is a much-needed day
Observing World Congenital Heart Defect Awareness Day is a great opportunity to educate your community, friends, and family about the prevalence of C.H.D. It can also give them the necessary support to those who suffer from it.
Understanding C.H.D. benefits the world
By observing and spreading awareness about C.H.D. you can help to raise funding for research. You could even host a funding drive for this good cause.
Helps lead a better life
With increased funding, people with C.H.D. will live better lives. If we all got involved we could make a big dent in the prevalence of C.H.D.
Congenital Heart Defect Awareness Day dates