Congenital heart failure is a type of heart failure that is present at birth. It occurs when there is a problem with the heart's structure or function that is present from birth. This can cause the heart to not pump blood effectively, leading to symptoms such as shortness of breath, fatigue, and difficulty feeding. Congenital heart failure can be caused by a variety of different conditions, such as heart defects, problems with the heart valves, or abnormalities in the blood vessels surrounding the heart. It can be treated with medications, surgery, or other medical procedures depending on the specific cause and severity of the condition.
Heart defects: These are problems with the structure of the heart that are present at birth. Examples include defects in the walls separating the chambers of the heart, abnormalities in the heart valves, or problems with the blood vessels surrounding the heart.
Problems with heart function: Some children may have a normal heart structure but problems with how the heart functions. This can be caused by conditions such as arrhythmias (irregular heart rhythms) or problems with the heart's electrical system.
Other conditions: Congenital heart failure can also be caused by other medical conditions present at birth, such as Down syndrome or other chromosomal abnormalities.
The healthcare provider will examine the child's heart and listen for any abnormal sounds using a stethoscope. Chest X-ray, uses radiation to create an image of the heart and lungs. It can show if the heart is larger or smaller than normal and if there is any fluid buildup in the lungs. Echocardiogram uses sound waves to create a detailed image of the heart. It can show the size and shape of the heart and how well it is functioning. Electrocardiogram records the electrical activity of the heart. It can show if there are any problems with the heart's rhythm. Cardiac catheterization involves inserting a thin tube (catheter) into a blood vessel and threading it to the heart. It can provide detailed information about the heart's structure and function.
Potential complications of a congenital heart defect include congestive heart failure. This serious complication might develop in kids who have significant heart defect. Signs include – rapid breathing, poor weight gain and often with gasping breaths.
As medical care and treatment have improved, babies and children with congenital heart defects (CHDs) are living longer and healthier lives. Ongoing, appropriate medical care may help kids and adults with a CHD live as healthy as possible.
The symptoms of end-stage congestive heart failure include – dyspnea, a high heart rate, chronic cough or wheezing, edema, confusion or impaired thinking and nausea or lack of appetite.
Heart failure might happen at any age. It happens to both men and women though men usually develop it at a younger age than women. Your chance of developing heart failure increases when you are 65 years or more.
With heart failure, your heart becomes a weaker pump. Over time it becomes less effective at pumping oxygen-rich blood through your body. This might be the reason for drop in oxygen levels. When oxygen levels drop, you may become short of breath or winded.
Visit a doctor when you are suffering from heart problems!