Breaking News Bar
posted: 5/5/2014 5:45 AM

Report backs screenings for early detection of congenital heart disease

hello
Success - Article sent! close
 
By Abby Phillip
The Washington Post

Congenital heart disease is the most common cause of death among newborns. And, sadly, many parents find out in the delivery room that a child could suffer life-threatening and lifelong health issues, or days or weeks later at home when it may be too late to prevent the most serious problems.

To help doctors diagnose congenital heart disease earlier in the pregnancy and treat infants more effectively, the American Heart Association recently released guidelines that call for some women to be screened using advanced technologies such as fetal echocardiography.

Order Reprint Print Article
 
Interested in reusing this article?
Custom reprints are a powerful and strategic way to share your article with customers, employees and prospects.
The YGS Group provides digital and printed reprint services for Daily Herald. Complete the form to the right and a reprint consultant will contact you to discuss how you can reuse this article.
Need more information about reprints? Visit our Reprints Section for more details.

Contact information ( * required )

Success - request sent close

"For most of us that take care of kids with congenital heart disease, the reason most people don't know about it is because it's not on the outside, it's on the inside," said Dr. Mary Donofrio, the lead researcher on the report and the director of the Fetal Heart Program and Critical Care Delivery Service at Children's National Medical Center.

"Fetal medicine becomes even more important. For these kids to stand a chance of surviving, they have to be identified early, right at birth, and get the care they need," she said in an interview.

For the first time, there are more adults with congenital heart disease than infants, which means that more babies with the problem are surviving into adulthood because of treatments and interventions that are available in utero or shortly after birth, Donofrio said.

For pregnant women, it starts with the ultrasound, which can detect fetal abnormalities.

But there are other women who are considered high risk, specifically those who have diabetes; take antidepressants or seizure medications; have a family history of congenital heart disease; or became pregnant using in vitro fertilization.

These women should get an advanced screening that can provide better detail of the fetus at an earlier stage in the pregnancy, the report said.

Share this page
Comments ()
Guidelines: Keep it civil and on topic; no profanity, vulgarity, slurs or personal attacks. People who harass others or joke about tragedies will be blocked. If a comment violates these standards or our terms of service, click the X in the upper right corner of the comment box. To find our more, read our FAQ.
    help here