Congenital heart defects

Congenital heart defects

Congenital heart defects (CHD) are structural problems in the heart or major blood vessels of the heart that are present since birth. It is estimated that about 120,000 adults born with and operated for CHD live in Germany.



Pediatric heart surgery can cure congenital heart defects. At Euromedic Healthcare, top class imaging devices are used to identify the exact problem. The various causes of congenital heart defects are:

  • Heredity: Some CHD like Down Syndrome are due to genetic factors or chromosomal abnormalities. A genetic testing during pregnancy will help in detecting some abnormalities
  • Medications: Some medication can lead to a structural heart defect during pregnancy.
  • Diabetes: If mother has diabetes, it may cause CHD.
  • Viral Infections: Contracting viral infections like German Measles (Rubella) during the first trimester can be lethal

trimester can be lethal Types of CHD:

  1. Acyanotic: Oxygenated blood flows from the left heart to the right heart and to the lungs producing breathlessness. Acyanotic defects include Patent Ductus Arteriosus, Pulmonary Valve Stenosis, Aortic Valve Stenosis, and Coarctation of the Aorta.
  2. Cyanotic: Deoxygenated blood flows to organs in the body leading to blueness of skin and breathlessness. Cyanotic defects include Tetralogy of Fallot.

How is CHD diagnosed?

Pulse Oximetry screening is performed within 24 to 48 hours of birth to check the oxygen saturation in baby’s body and in case an abnormality is noticed, further testing is recommended. Signs like pale skin, delayed growth, breathing difficulty, lethargy bring it to the notice of the physician. Experienced cardiologists at Euromedic Healthcare perform investigations like chest x-ray, electrocardiogram, echocardiogram, etc to confirm the diagnosis.

Treatments for CHD:

In Germany, around 6000 cases of CHD are observed per year. Expert physicians at Euromedic Healthcare will guide regarding the treatment needed. Some diseases can be treated by simply improving heart’s functioning. Severe cases might need a procedure called Catheterization in which a catheter (thin tube) is used to repair the heart defect without a surgery. Major defects like Tetralogy of Fallot may require open heart surgery.

Pediatric heart surgery:

For pre surgical preparation, the child is admitted a day or two prior to the surgery. All routine blood tests and cardiac investigations are performed. The duration of surgery will depend on the complexity of the defect. After surgery, the hospital stay will depend on the complexity of the surgery performed and the recovery status of the child. Once home, care should be taken until incision and breastbone (sternum) heal completely. The child should be given prescribed medication and follow up with the Euromedic Healthcare physician is essential for good results.