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Please Help! Children born with Heart Defects - 11-22-2009, 01:06 PM

Motivated by needs of our little-children suffering with heart defects, with goal of hope, assist and comfort their lives; here begins the long way ahead. Success of this first step with great ambition relays in your hands – our great EK family.

A child born with heart defects is known as Congenital Heart Disease (CHD). CHD may be cause of function or structure abnormality of little heart. With advancement of medical technologies most of these CHD cases can be treated. Timely treatment child would lead a normal life. Mainly treatment involves open heart surgery and clinical management for considerable time period.

The Aim of this thread is:

Work as a support group for parents/families of little-ones with CHD:
· When a lovely little-one is diagnosed with CHD naturally parents devastate by such a bad news. From there onward until treatments life of parent may be an unimaginable. That would affect little-patients well being as well. One main aim is to help needy parents, family members or any other one.
· Where ever possible reach out experts, organizations work on CHD issues and providing a help needed for comfort of little-patients.
· Needy-ones can seek help by PM too.

Educate EK community on alarmingly increasing cases of CHD and by that create awareness in Sri Lankan community:
· Exact cause for CHD is not known but may be many reasons. This thread intent to publish worth reading articles/links from experts.
· Publish stories related to CHD cases – that would help early identification

Help treatment of little-patients with CHD through donations:
· Children’s Heart Project of Sri Lanka (local charity organization) (url: http://www.chplanka.org/donate.htm)
· Directly contribute to a special account opened at the People’s Bank branch in Borella for Pediatric Cardiac Surgical Unit of Lady Ridgeway Hospital
· Whatever your donation small or big will benefit a little-child desperately in need a heart surgery

Please Donate!
Save a little flower,
Help a needy heart,
Give a life a chance that would definitely comfort family

You will benefit from your generous act!
Together we can do more...

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CHD In Sri Lanka: - 11-22-2009, 01:25 PM

· Statistics indicates one child in every 400 born in Sri Lanka suffers with CHD (read more: http://www.chplanka.org/index.htm)
· An article published recently in The Island says “CHD affects about one out of every 125 babies born. Quite a number of them with more complicated defects and who are in resource-scarce poor developing countries will not survive their first year. Twice as many children die each year from a CHD than all forms of paediatric cancers combined.” (url for source: http://www.island.lk/2009/10/29/features3.html)
· Annually more than 1200 children needs heart surgeries in Sri Lanka
· Two dedicated to Pediatric (child) heart surgery units are in Sri Lanka. Lady Ridgeway Hospital facility since year 2005 has performed 1,181 surgeries with a success rate of 95%. That includes 437 surgeries in year 2008 and 340 surgeries in year 2007. Other unit is at Kandy Teaching Hospital.
· In a year an average of 600 CHD surgeries performed in Sri Lanka
· Average waiting time for surgery is 2-years
· As well Galle Teaching Hospital performs Child Heart surgeries. Recently with helps of team of foreign volunteers this facility have performed more than 100 heart surgeries with in a short period.
· Little-ones battling with CHD would not survive this two-year time to face the surgery
· CHD surgery facilities already available in few leading private hospitals in capital Colombo (of course a large sum of money is required)
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What can we do? - 11-22-2009, 01:36 PM

Thanks to dedicated experts and professional staffs government institutions perform beyond their capacity needs lots of support to cope up with priority cases and increase their capacities

Number of private hospitals also perform CHD surgeries - Children’s Heart Project of Sri Lanka fund treatment for selected very needy children

With a donation as small as RS 100 from each EK member for example (at present 251,452 members) 251,452 x 100 = 25,145,200

That is RS: Twenty-Five Million One Hundred Forty-Five Thousand Two Hundred

Sufficient to fund more than 70 surgeries of little-patients with CHD (as per Children’s Heart Project of Sri Lanka)

Yes! We can make a BIG difference for Little Heart Patients
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Normal Human Heart - 11-26-2009, 09:41 AM

The heart is a muscular organ about the size of a fist (the hand closed tightly with the fingers bent against the palm), located just behind and slightly left of the breastbone. The heart pumps blood through the network of arteries and veins called the cardiovascular system.


The heart has four chambers:
  • The right atrium receives blood from the veins and pumps it to the right ventricle.
  • The right ventricle receives blood from the right atrium and pumps it to the lungs, where it is loaded with oxygen.
  • The left atrium receives oxygenated blood from the lungs and pumps it to the left ventricle.
  • The left ventricle (the strongest chamber) pumps oxygen-rich blood to the rest of the body. The left ventricle’s vigorous contractions create our blood pressure.
The coronary arteries run along the surface of the heart and provide oxygen-rich blood to the heart muscle. A web of nerve tissue also runs through the heart, conducting the complex signals that govern contraction and relaxation. Surrounding the heart is a sac called the pericardium.
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File Type: jpg heart_illustration-3.jpg (25.9 KB, 30 views)
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Amazing Little Pump - 11-26-2009, 09:44 AM

Every day, your heart beats about 100,000 times, sending 2,000 gallons of blood surging through your body. Although it’s no bigger than your fist, your heart has the mighty job of keeping blood flowing through the 60,000 miles of blood vessels that feed your organs and tissues. Any damage to the heart or its valves can reduce that pumping power, forcing the heart to work harder just to keep up with the body’s demand for blood.
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What are congenital heart defects? - 12-02-2009, 07:07 PM

Congenital heart defects are problems with how a baby's heart forms. "Congenital" means that the heart problem develops before the baby is born or at birth.

Most congenital heart defects affect how blood flows through the heart or through the blood vessels near the heart. Some defects may cause blood to flow in a pattern that is not normal. Others can completely or partially block blood flow.



There are many different types of congenital heart defects:
  • They can be simply a hole between the chambers of the heart or heart valve that has not formed right.
  • Others are more serious and complex, such as a missing heart valve or heart chamber.
Some defects are discovered in the fetus (baby) while a woman is pregnant. Others are not found until birth. Most congenital heart defects are detected shortly after birth, although some are not discovered for years. Still others may not be discovered until a child gets older or even until he or she becomes an adult.

No matter when a heart defect is discovered, having a child with a heart problem is very stressful. Dealing with the fear and uncertainty may seem overwhelming, especially when you have a fragile newborn.

It may help you to learn as much as you can about your child's treatment and to talk to your doctor and other parents who have a child with similar problems.

Need a help - communicate please.
You are not along we are here to help you.
One main aim of this thread is to help needy parents, family members or any other one.
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What causes the defects? - 12-02-2009, 07:22 PM

  • Congenital heart defects usually have no known cause.
  • In some cases, they may be passed from a parent to a child (inherited).
  • They also may develop in the unborn baby (fetus) of a woman who has an infection. For example, if a woman gets German measles (rubella) while she is pregnant, it may cause problems with how her baby's heart develops.
  • Women who have diabetes have a greater chance of having a child with a congenital heart defect.
  • During pregnancy who is exposed to radiation or other toxic substances during her pregnancy.
  • Women who drink alcohol during pregnancy have a higher risk of having a baby with a congenital heart defect.
  • Congenital heart defects are more common in babies who are born with genetic conditions such as Down syndrome.
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What are the symptoms? - 12-03-2009, 05:49 PM

Symptoms of congenital heart defects will depend on what problem a baby has. Babies with congenital heart defects may have one or more of these symptoms:
  • Tiring quickly
  • Brething difficulty
  • Developing puffiness or swelling
  • Sweating easily. specially head
  • Heart murmur
  • Having fewer wet diapers than normal
  • Respiratory infections
  • Not gaining weight as they should
  • Developing a bluish tint to the skin, lips, and fingernails that becomes worse while eating or crying
  • Having fainting or near-fainting spells, especially related to physical activity
  • Difficulty in suckling milk, poower feeding
  • Build up of blood and fluid in lungs, feet, ankles and legs
In some cases, child's congenital heart defect may be so mild that symptoms will not appear until the child is a teenager or young adult.
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Some Common Symptoms in details - 12-07-2009, 08:42 PM

Difficulty Breathing
This often is noticed when a baby is active, such as during feeding or crying.

Poor weight gain
When most of a baby's energy is spent pumping blood to the body, little is left for eating and growing. Baby may tire when eating and may take longer than expected to finish feeding.

Sudden weight gain or puffiness and swelling of the skin
Seen most often around the eyes and in the hands and feet and may be most noticeable when baby first wakes up. The weight gain or puffiness can be caused by fluid retention that is related to poor blood circulation.

Sweating
Specially sewating on the head may notice that baby has damp hair and cool, moist skin.

Fatigue and fussiness
Baby may be too tired to play and may sleep most of the time.

Fewer wet diapers than expected
After the first week, most newborns wet at least 6 diapers in a 24-hour period. May also notice that baby's urine is dark and strong-smelling.

Blue baby
Blood flow problems caused by heart defects can mean that baby gets less oxygen. This happens mostly in children who have cyanotic heart defects ("blue babies"). Cyanotic heart defects are abnormal openings between the heart chambers that allow oxygen-poor blood from the right side of the heart to mix with oxygen-rich blood from the left side of the heart. Defects that do not cause cyanosis (acyanotic heart defects) do not normally interfere with the amount of oxygen or blood that reaches the body's tissues.
If a baby has trouble getting oxygen, the baby may have symptoms such as:
A bluish tint (cyanosis) to the skin, lips, and nail beds. This becomes worse when baby cries or eats.

Slower-than-expected growth and development (with more severe congenital heart defects). Baby may weigh less, be shorter, and take longer than expected to learn skills such as standing and walking.

Symptoms usually go away after the defect is corrected. A congenital heart defect that is repaired at the right time is less likely to permanently affect your child's growth and development.
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When to call a doctor - 12-11-2009, 09:24 AM

Call Emergency services if child has severe difficulty breathing, faints, or has seizures.
Important to know signs related to followings:

A child who is having severe difficulty breathing:

  • Breathes very fast or grunts with each breath.
  • Appears anxious or exhausted during feeding or is unable to nurse or take a bottle.
  • Uses the neck, chest, and abdominal muscles to breathe, causing a "sucking in" between or under the ribs (retractions).
  • May flare the nostrils when breathing in.
  • May need to sit up and lean forward or tilt the nose up as if sniffing the air.
  • May fight any attempt to change his or her position.
  • Has pale, gray, or bluish skin (especially the tongue, lips, earlobes, and nail beds), or the skin is mottled (patchy pale and blue pattern).
Seizures are sudden bursts of abnormal electrical activity in the brain that may affect a person's muscle control, movement, speech, vision, or awareness (consciousness). The effects of seizures depend on a person's individual response, as well as the seizure type, frequency, and severity.
Some seizures make a person fall to the ground in convulsions, in which the muscles stiffen or jerk out of control. Others may stare in a trancelike state, have only a few muscle twitches, or sense a strange smell or visual disturbance not experienced by anyone else.
Sometimes a seizure is a symptom of another medical problem, such as a high fever (especially in children), a stroke, infection, low blood sugar (hypoglycemia), very low blood pressure, or a brain tumor.
Call your health professional immediately if child with a congenital heart defect has:
  • Symptoms of heart failure or cyanosis-the bluish tint that affects skin, lips, and nails because of lack of oxygen-that become significantly worse within a short time period. Symptoms of heart failure can be:
    • Shortness of breath while at rest, with mild exertion, or while lying down or shortness of breath that wakes a person from sleep.
    • Leg swelling
    • Fatigue
    • Dizziness or fainting (rare)
  • Symptoms of fever that will not go away.
  • Talk to your doctor if your child with a congenital heart defect has:
    • Moderate difficulty breathing.
    • Fewer wet diapers and has swelling (puffy eyes, hands, and feet).
    • A poor appetite and is not eating well or has a rapid heartbeat or rapid breathing while eating.
    • Less energy or seems to be sleeping more than usual.
    • Sudden weight gain or is not gaining weight.
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