Hole in baby heart: symptoms, causes, types & treatment

Hole in baby heart: symptoms, causes, types & treatment
The worst nightmare for a parent is to discover that their child has a heart hole. A heart hole is an abnormal opening in the wall that separates the left and right chambers. It is a form of congenital heart defect that is present at birth and changes the normal flow of blood to the heart and hence, can be potentially dangerous depending on the situation. While we all wish for no one to ever experience this condition, but as a responsible parent, one must know when to act and thus, it is imperative to understand what a heart hole means, its symptoms, causes, types, and treatment. Types of heart hole Atrial Septal Defect or ASD: This type of heart hole is present in the portion of the septum that separates the right and left chambers of the heart, causing oxygen-rich blood from the left chamber (atrium) to flow into the right chamber rather than flowing into the left ventricle as per normal process. This leads to oxygen-rich blood flowing back into the lungs instead of flowing into the body. ASD could be small or large depending on condition. A small ASD is often harmless and does not require any special treatment, in fact closes on its own as the child grows. Whereas a large ASD cause more blood leakage and could cause potential harm to the baby. These heart holes do not fill up on their own instead require special treatment and care. Most of the cases do not show any signs of a heart hole up until 30 years or later. But if a large ASD is not repaired in time, it might cause right heart failure, irregular heartbeats, stroke, pulmonary hypertension leading to sever complications. Ventricular Septal Defect or VSD:  A VSD is a type of heart hole where there is an opening in the septum that divides the lower chambers of the heart – the ventricles. This heart hole causes the oxygen-rich blood from the left ventricle to flow into the right ventricle and mix up with the oxygen-poor blood, instead of flowing out of the body through the aorta. A baby might have more than one VSD but in most cases, VSD close as the baby grows up and do not cause any trouble. Large size VSD, however, might cause some symptoms and would require surgery if they do not close on their own. A large VSD could result in heart failure, growth failure, irregular heartbeats, and pulmonary hypertension. Symptoms of heart hole Symptoms of a heart hole may not be evident until adulthood and hence, vary on the severity of the situation and the type of heart hole – ASD or VSD. However, in general cases, there is a heart murmur which indicates a heart hole, though not all heart murmurs are an indication of heart hole. More so, symptoms that can potentially indicate a hole in baby’s heart include: FatigueExtreme tiredness during normal physical activityShortness of breathBlood and fluid buildup in lungsFluid accumulation...
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Living with a pacemaker- what patient feels

Living with a pacemaker- what patient feels
One of the most common diseases associated with mortality are cardiovascular problems. Due to the lack of physical activity, urbanized lifestyle, unhealthy eating habits, lack of nutrition, and various other socio-economic conditions - cardiovascular problems have steeply risen. While there are multiple medical treatments available for heart problems, a pacemaker remains one of the most important advances in providing care for patients. A pacemaker is not merely a device that lowers heart problems but is also essential in retaining the patient’s peace of mind, ensuring them a quality of life and providing assurance of safety. Technically, a pacemaker is a device that continuously monitors the heartbeat to record any erratic movements and sends electrical impulses to the heart muscle to maintain a healthy heart rate. Your doctor may recommend you a pacemaker in conditions such as arrhythmia, fainting spells and congestive heart failure. Depending on the severity of the heart problem, an appropriate pacemaker from the three types is recommended: Single chamber: Carries electrical impulses to the right ventricleDual chamber: Carries electrical impulses to the right ventricle and atriumBiventricular: Corrects abnormal electrical systems by stimulating lower chambers of the heart. A pacemaker is temporarily or permanently implanted (depending on patient’s condition) under the skin of the chest via a minor surgery. Pacemakers are usually fitted in about an hour but work for as long as eight to ten years, powered by a battery. With minor precautions and safety measures, a pacemaker grants you a second lease of life and functions effectively to provide you all the support needed. While living with a pacemaker could be slightly challenging at first for some patients due to mental expectations, minor change in quality of life, emotional disorders, and psycho-social compatibility issues – eventually the idea settles in. Though on the other hand, some patients might not feel any major change at all and continue swiftly with their everyday lives without stressing about the pacemaker. Once the pacemaker is implanted, a patient might feel worried about safety measures, precautions, medications, change in lifestyle, and other perceived problems. Patients should, however, feel confident and free to ask all questions from the doctors and get clarifications on anything that could possibly cause trouble. As days’ advance, most patients might not even feel the presence of a pacemaker and go about their daily lives, without thinking about it. However, it is vital for the patients to understand that a certain change in their routine and lifestyle would be demanded by the pacemaker to keep the heart healthy. While some patients might feel that they would need to refrain from physical activities post implantation of a pacemaker, it is not the case. Instead, being physically active is what is required, once eight to ten weeks post the pacemaker implantation have passed. During this time, the patient must allow the pacemaker to settle in, avoid sudden movements, and refrain from creating any pressure on the pacemaker. Once this term ends, your pacemaker will support you in carrying on all...
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Difference between TAVR and SAVR – Risks and benefits

Difference between TAVR and SAVR – Risks and benefits
Aortic Stenosis is a condition where the aortic valve of the heart does not open completely because of the thickened valve leaflets, causing irregular heart functioning and creating pressure on the left ventricle of the heart – which is mainly responsible for pumping blood. In such a condition, the heart responds by thickening the walls to retain the pumping pressure. However, it might weaken the heart and even lead to heart failure, if not treated in time. Two major treatments for Aortic Stenosis are Transcatheter Aortic Valve Replacement (TAVR) and Surgical Aortic Valve Replacement (SAVR). A Transcatheter Aortic Valve Replacement (TAVR) or Transcatheter Aortic Valve Implantation (TAVI) is a surgical method performed to repair a compromised, blocked or narrowed artery which was disrupting the blood and oxygen supply to the heart. This surgical procedure is recommended for patients who have a higher risk or are too sick or suffer from severe aortic stenosis, or too old for open-heart surgery. This breakthrough procedure is advanced than a standard valve replacement. Where no other procedure guarantees long term benefits, this procedure provides a statistically significant mortality rate and is regarded as a boon for people who were considered inoperable. It was, in fact, first tested in 2002 on patients with severe aortic stenosis (a narrowing of the aortic valve opening), who were considered unfit for open-heart surgery. TAVI/TAVR outperformed in the trials with patients’ significantly better recording higher mortality rate. Not only does a TAVI/TAVR procedure act as shining armour for a heart patient with no hope, it also has faster recovery time in general cases. The ease of performing, recovery time and the process is as simple and equivalent to that of a coronary angioplasty or in some cases even coronary angiography. In most cases, a patient is expected to recover within 3-4 days post a TAVI/TAVR procedure. During the recovery, the doctors will prescribe medicines and also follow up with tests and physical examinations. That said, a TAVI/TAVR treatment has both benefits and risks involved. Some of the benefits include: Reliable alternative to open-heart surgeryHigh survival rateLess invasiveLess damage or chances of infectionFaster recovery period Risks involved in a TAVI/TAVR procedure include: BleedingAbnormal heartbeat and rhythmKidney diseaseAdjustment problems with replaced valveStroke On the other hand, Surgical Aortic Valve Replacement (SAVR) was the standard treatment for patients suffering from severe aortic stenosis, until the discovery of TAVR/TAVI. Surgical Aortic Valve Replacement istraditional,open chest surgery that replacesdamaged aortic valves and is recommended for patients whose condition is strong enough to manage this surgery and the recovery.  A SAVR is preferred for patients with low-risk. In SAVR procedure, an incision is made in the chest to reach the heart; once through, the heart is placed on a heart-lung bypass machine, while the damaged aortic valve is replaced with a new one. The heart is then restored and the incision is closed. SAVR has shown great results on patients who are suitable for the surgery. Though the recovery time post a SAVR procedure is long...
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