Guest Post – What is CHD


Whatis CHD?
This acronym stands for Congenital Heart Disease, (sometimesreferred to as congenital heart defect). Just so you know what it is, CHDoccurs for babies when the blood vessels nearest to the heart muscle do notadequately develop prior to birth. Having your child diagnosed with it may befrightening, but you can take comfort in knowing that almost all children bornwith CHD live to be active, contributing and completely functioning members oftheir communities. So take a deep breath and smile, it is most likely going tobe o.k. 
The symptoms of CHD include obvious change of normal skincolor, blue or even pale gray skin color, breathing rapidly, abdominalswelling, or extreme puffiness of the eyes, or legs and shallow breathing whilethe child is being fed, resulting in inadequate weight gain. Now that yourchild has been diagnosed with CHD, what do you do next? You will want to haveyour child tested to learn just what type of CHD is present. CHD can take manyforms. Some types are straightforward and do not require surgery or specialtreatment, but you will need to keep an eye out for irregularities in yourchild’s health and wellbeing.  Othertypes require some type of medical management, and a few require surgery.
You will likely want to know what to expect when you takeyour child in for the first appointment. Know all the signs and symptoms yourbaby is experiencing; you may want to write these down if it will help youremember. Jot down questions that occur to you that you would like answered byyour attending physician. Know any and all medications, supplements and evenvitamins your child is taking. Being prepared with this information at handwill help you make the most of your time with the doctor.
The tests will be set in motion with an EKG to monitorthe function of the heart.  The testbegins as the administering technician places stickers on your child’s chest,arms and legs. These are used to hold tiny wires that attach to the EKGapparatus. This is the time-consuming part of the process. The actual test istypically over in less than a minute. Your doctor will interpret the resultsand discuss with you the best course of action for your child after the test iscompleted.
It may be helpful to know that CHD is a very commonailment. The American HeartAssociation states that “Out of every 1,000 births, 9babies will have some form of congenital heart disorder, most of which aremild.” They also assert that approximately”650,000 to 1.3 million Americanshave a congenital heart defect.” So you and your child are not alone as youface this. Many people know just what you are going through, there is a lot ofinformation available and you are sure to be able to find support groups ifneeded.  Advances are being made intreating patients with CHD all the time, so know that at this very momentresearch is being performed and progress is being made in the field, and you haveevery reason to hope that all will be well for your child. Get it properlydiagnosed and treated, then focus your energies on leading a happy life.
Aboutthe Author

Margo Smith graduated with a B.S. degree from BYU. She draws from her experiences as a modern day children’s governess, her years spent on the New England coast, her time in the corporate world and an author’s perspective on life when compiling articles about a variety of subjects from health and beauty to distance learning to great gift ideas.

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