Heart diseases, which rank first among the causes of death in the world and in our country, are also diagnosed more in newborns and infants. So much so that today, approximately one out of every 100 babies are born with congenital heart disease.
Thanks to the developing diagnosis, treatment and follow-up methods, the possibility of correct diagnosis and approach to heart disease during pregnancy and as soon as birth increases. Acıbadem Bakırköy Hospital Pediatric Cardiology Specialist Prof. Dr. Canan Ayabakan stated that congenital heart diseases are seen with a frequency similar to the world in our country, “Genetic factors, some infections during pregnancy, smoking, drug use, toxic substances exposed during pregnancy, and chronic diseases of the mother are among the factors that can cause congenital heart disease. The disease is sometimes mild, asymptomatic, and symptoms may occur as the child grows up. Sometimes it shows symptoms right after birth. For this reason, families should be very careful against cardiovascular diseases, especially in newborns, ie within the first 4 weeks after birth and in babies, ”he says. Pediatric Cardiology Specialist Prof. Dr. Canan Ayabakan talked about the symptoms that indicate heart diseases in newborns and babies; made important warnings and suggestions.
Bruising indicates that the body is being supplied with low-oxygen blood. The appearance of purple discoloration in the tongue, mouth, lips and nails may indicate heart disease. The bruising can be apparent when the baby cries, or it can occur continuously and when not crying. However, it is necessary to distinguish this bruising from the bruising on the lips and nails when the baby is cold. Generally, the distinctive point is bruising on the tongue and inside the mouth, and this is likely to be from heart disease, not from cold.
Apart from bruising, rapid breathing of the baby may indicate heart disease. Since the frequency of their breathing can be better noticed when they are asleep or calm, it is important for parents to observe their baby while sleeping and to consult a pediatric cardiologist in any unusual situation.
One of the signs indicating the importance of congenital heart disease in newborns and babies is excessive sweating. Although the temperature of the environment is normal, the newborn and baby sweat while sucking the mother or the bottle; Stopping sucking due to tiredness, being sleepless and restless, not gaining enough weight, being sick frequently (especially having pneumonia or bronchitis) may be important symptoms for heart disease. If one or more of these findings are present, the baby should be evaluated by a pediatric cardiologist.
Time is critical in treatment!
Pediatric Cardiology Specialist Prof. Dr. Canan Ayabakan said, “It is generally preferred to perform corrective surgeries as early as possible. But some complex diseases require gradual operations. Time is very important in critical illnesses and if it is not intervened in a short time after birth, the patient may be lost. In this case, it saves time for the baby to be diagnosed before birth in order to quickly plan the intervention to be made and to keep the baby in the best condition until the procedure. Some balloon / stent interventions performed with the catheter method in the early neonatal period also prepare the baby for the next stages. In some heart diseases, treatment can be applied by catheter method without the need for surgery, ”he says.