Hole in the Heart: Quick Recap for Parents

By Justin

Every year 8-12 children per 1000 live deliveries are born with heart defects. These are also called Congenital Heart Defect (CHD) which simply means that the heart developed problems since when it was being formed inside the womb. The commonest problems are holes in the heart.  Although sound innocuous, this short phrase in my experience created a lot of apprehension and fear among the family and also health care providers. This article is our attempt to put the facts straight.

The Normal Heart:

Normal Heart and Circulation

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The heart is a pumping organ and has got four chambers. The two upper chambers are called the Right Atrium and Left Atrium (RA and LA) and the two lower chambers are called the Right Ventricle and Left Ventricle (RV and LV). The upper chambers are separated by a wall called inter-atrial septum and the lower chambers are separated by another wall called inter-ventricular septum. From the RV, one artery or pipe takes impure /deoxygenated blood to lungs for oxygenation. This is called the Pulmonary Artery (PA) and from the LV another artery called Aorta carries pure/oxygen-rich blood to the whole body.

Continue to common holes in the heart –>

How to recognize that a child has hole in the heart?

What to do if your child has a hole in the heart?

What to do if your child has a hole in the heart?

By Justin

There is no simple and/or single answer to this. Your best guide is the pediatric cardiologist. As I have told that all of us are born with small ASD and PDA. Usually they close spontaneously by 1st week of life. Premature babies often have large PDAs and they often close after medical therapy with oral Ibuprofen or Indomethacin. Rarely some preemies need surgery. The baby’s neonatologist will start these.

Regarding ASD, small defects upto 3-5mm, often close spontaneously.  However, larger defects like more than 5-8mm size do not close. They need closure by 3-4 years of age i.e. preschool age either by operation or non-operatively by a button called DEVICE.  This is a nonsurgical technique, done under general anesthesia and takes about 40-45 minutes. The child is observed for 24 hours post procedure and then discharged. The advantage is this that there is no scar and unless someone does an Echo or Chest X-ray, it is impossible to identify that the child had an ASD. The usual hospital stay is 36 hours.

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Remember, this service is not a substitute for medical advice. Please go to your nearest Pediatric Cardiology Facility for immediate medical care.

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