It is said that a baby has congenital heart defects in case these defects appear before birth. They could affect the chambers, blood vessels or valves. It is possible for the baby to have one defect at birth or more. There are many different heart defects and the mild ones don’t require any medical attention.
Information about the defects of the heart
While the mild defects cause no problems, the more severe ones could be life threatening right at birth or after a period of time. The best thing you could do is to gather some information regarding problems of this kind to know what to expect over time.
Ventricular septal defect
This defect of the heart is also referred to as hole inside the heart. It is considered to be the most well-known congenital defect and it is caused by the muscle wall of the heart that separates the chambers, which didn’t form properly. Because of this the blood could leak from one ventricle to the other.
This defect causes problems because the blood doesn’t get first to the aorta, then to the rest of the body, but the blood rich in oxygen gets mixed with the blood that doesn’t have oxygen. The defect could lead to increased blood pressure inside the lungs, heart failure, heart infection and irregular heartbeats.
Atrial septal defect
This is another kind of the defects of the heart that means a hole in the muscle wall that separates the top two chambers. As a result the muscle isn’t able to close as it should. Just as in the previous case the result is that the blood rich in oxygen mixes with the blood that doesn’t have enough oxygen in it.
In case we aren’t referring to heart defects, the blood of the left atrium should be transported to the left ventricle and then through the aorta into the entire body. In case the defect is a minor one, there could be no symptoms and there is no need for any kind of treatment.
Patent ductus arteriosus
You should know about this defect of the heart that before the baby is born, the ductus arteriosus connects the aorta and the pulmonary artery, the blood vessel transporting blood to the lungs. Before he or she is born the blood can flow through the lungs because the baby receives the oxygen from the umbilical cord and the placenta.
If there are no heart defects, the ductus arteriosus closes after birth. In case this doesn’t happen, the blood will be able to flow through the lungs and as a result the baby could suffer heart failure and also an infection of the heart. Later the baby could have a surgery to take care of the problem.
Pulmonary valve stenosis
In case of this, pulmonary valve is narrowed, and as a result the blood flowing from the right valve to the pulmonary artery is slowed down. Because of this the right ventricle needs to pump harder to transport blood to the artery that is supplying the lungs.
It is possible for this one of the heart defects to occur along with other defects like muscle thickening in case of the right ventricle’s muscle under the valve. In case the defect is mild there is no need for the help of doctors. In severe cases it could lead to arrhythmias, heart failure or enlargement of the heart chambers.
You should know that there are some other defects of the heart that could cause health problems. The bad news regarding heart defects is that they aren’t always visible at birth.