Did you know that we celebrated Congenital Heart Defect (CHD) Awareness week this month? With the crazy news cycle, heart month events, Black History month celebrations, and life getting in the way, it’s totally understandable that you may have missed it. But never fear, I’m here to give you some facts to share with your friends and family.
hero_image_alt_text===Baby's foot with pulse oximetry test
thumbnail_alt_text===Baby's foot with pulse oximetry test
What is CHD?
CHD stands for congenital heart defect which is a fancy way of saying a heart defect in a newborn. There are many different types of congenital heart defects and to get more information on them, please visit here.
Why CHD Awareness Week?
CHDs are the most common birth defects in the United States, affecting 1 in every 110 babies each year. There are about 2-4 million people living in the states with a congenital heart defect and about 25% of those children have undergone at least one heart surgery just to survive. Even after surgery, many children with CHDs have to live with the condition under specialized care, medications and other medical interventions.
Many times, we don’t know the causes of CHDs, but we know how to detect them! Thanks to legislation advocated by the American Heart Association, many states require a simple test, known as a pulse oximetry test, be administered to newborns before they leave the hospital. Early detection is key and this test has proven that it can detect heart defects early in a newborn’s life which can prevent complications later in life. In states that require this screening, they’ve seen a 33% decrease in infant mortality. Innovative policies like this are why we raise awareness about CHDs to shed light on these conditions and erase misconceptions on the issue.
Do you or your child have a CHD? Come join our support network where you’ll find a community of survivors like you, who are empowering each other with tips and advice.