Health Matters Spring 2019 - Page 34

Tips to understanding congenital birth defects while they do not fully un- derstand why congenital heart defects occur, the risk of having a baby with one is influenced by family history, genetics and exposure to cer- tain environmental factors during pregnancy. Children also may be at greater risk if their mothers have diabetes, rubella or phenylketonuria. Boys have a slightly higher risk for congenital heart de- fects than girls. NHLBI advises that ad- vances in diagnosis and treatment allow most chil- dren with congenital heart diseases to survive to adult- hood. However, even if a con- genital heart defect was re- paired in childhood, one needs regular medical fol- low-ups throughout life to maintain good health. Fol- low-up care includes routine visits with a cardiologist, heart-healthy eating, main- taining a healthy weight, and being physically active with- in recommendations de- signed for the specific heart anomaly. It’s important to note that some children can experience developmental delays and lower body weight due to heart defects. Congenital heart defects are somewhat common. Thanks to advanced screen- ing and thorough treatment methods, many children born with such defects go on to lead long lives. — Metro Creative Connection xpecting parents of- ten approach monthly checkups with a combination of antic- ipation and anxiety. Seeing a little one moving around and growing inside of mom is a feeling unlike any other. But such visits also can uncover issues, including congenital heart defects. Congenital heart defects or diseases are defined as problems with the heart’s structure that are present at birth, according to the Na- tional Heart, Lung and Blood Institute. These defects can change the normal flow of blood to the heart, which may cause it to slow down, be blocked or go in the wrong direction. Congenital heart defects are the most common type of birth defect. The Mayo Clinic says that defects can range from sim- ple issues that might cause no noticeable problems to complex conditions that can be life-threatening. Many doctors are able to diagnose defects during pregnancy or soon after birth using special cardiac testing. Examples of problems can include an atri- al septal defect, a ventricular septal defect and a patent ductus arteriosus. Many of the defects are characterized by holes or openings in the heart. Some defects resolve on their own. Others may re- quire surgery or cardiac catheterization. Researchers say that, E WC & Whelchel & Carlton LLP Attorneys at Law John M. Carlton, Jr. Kenneth M. Turnipseed J. Hamilton Garner Kyle T. Swann J.D. Sears I Real Estate | Business Law | Wills | Trusts | Estates Personal Injury | Criminal/DUI Congenital heart defects are somewhat common. Thanks to advanced screening 203 East Washington Street Thomasville, Georgia 31792 229-228-4333 26 2nd Avenue SW Moultrie, Georgia 31768 229-985-1590 and thorough treatment methods, many children born with such defects go on to lead long lives. www.wcgalaw.com Serving South Georgia for over 50 Years 224649-1 I