We can now, using advanced technology, find out whether or not a baby has a heart problem- even when the mother is pregnant. Tests can be performed at 18 weeks of gestation to decide on a course of action.
Planning the Delivery
In most cases, where surgery is required, delivery is planned in such a way that the operation can commence immediately after birth, offering the child a better life as early as possible. If this is not planned properly though, it could turn fatal. At 18 months of pregnancy, an ECHO-cardiograph is performed on the pregnant woman. This reveals any heart condition that may be a cause for concern and a course of action is planned thereafter. Those with a family history of heart conditions should have a test done. Surgeries may be performed at any time, from the time of birth, at six months, etc. However, the surgery needs to be performed at the right time, failing which, the child may not be operable.
After birth, infants who do not gain weight, whose heartbeat is faster than normal, or those who turn blue or suffer from infections, need to have tests done, or consult a pediatric cardiologist. Treatment options are aplenty currently. Open heart surgeries, surgeries using pin-hole technique, etc. are some of the options available now.
Following some of these procedures, the infant needs to stay in hospital for just one day and is discharged thereafter. The infant can stay healthy lifelong with no problems, if the right treatment is offered. In most cases, these conditions are rectified 100 percent with total correction of defects – and the child can thereafter lead a normal life.