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Congenital Heart Defect Awareness Week

Updated on February 7, 2011
Cari Jean profile image

Cari Jean is a freelance writer and author. Her inspiring memoir "Having Faith" is available on Amazon. She resides in North Dakota.

It is common knowledge that the month of February is referred to as "American Heart Month." No, not because of Valentines Day but to help spread awareness for heart disease. During American Heart Month there is also Go Red for Womenwhich encourages women to come together and fight heart disease for their gender. But did you know there is a week in February geared towards babies who are born with something wrong with their hearts? It's called Congenital Heart Defect Awareness Week. This year, CHD Awareness Week is February 7-14.

Are you familiar with the term "congenital heart defect"?

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How Common Is CHD?

Though congenital heart defects affect 1% of newborn babies and are the leading cause of death for infants, there does not seem to be as much awareness about CHD compared to other child health issues such as premature birth, Autism or cancer.

One in 100 babies are born with something wrong with their heart, making it the most common birth defect. CHD affects approximately 1.8 millions families in the Unites States. Despite these numbers, there is a lack of funding available for education, research and support.

For some of these babies, the heart condition goes undetected and the baby dies as a result. For others, surgery is done when the child is just days old. If the heart defect is complex, the child may have to go through more surgeries as the child grows. And many times, even though the child may appear to be "cured" as a result of heart surgery, they may begin to have trouble with their heart again as they reach adulthood.

There is no cure for congenital heart defects. There are not even clear reasons as to what causes them. Researches have speculated that heart defects are caused by a genetic abnormality or when the developing fetus is exposed to infections, toxic substances or drugs.

As you can see, much needs to be done in terms of awareness, education, research and support for babies born with a congenital heart defect. Their little hearts deserve it.

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    • Cari Jean profile image
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      Cari Jean 6 years ago from Bismarck, ND

      drpastorcarlotta - thank you so much for your kind words and for voting up! Yes, when I get the chance I will for sure come visit and read some of your latest!

    • drpastorcarlotta profile image

      Pastor Dr. Carlotta Boles 6 years ago from BREAKOUT MINISTRIES, INC. KC

      Thank you for this educational Hub on congenital heart defects. You have done a great job presenting this Hub! Bless you! Voted-up! I have missed you, come and visit me when you get a chance.

    • Cari Jean profile image
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      Cari Jean 6 years ago from Bismarck, ND

      HealthyHanna - wow, I would love to know more of your story. Thank you so much for sharing and for your comment.

    • HealthyHanna profile image

      HealthyHanna 6 years ago from Utah

      Our family has been affected with the condition. It is a long and sad story, but it has had a happy ending---life. Your article deals very well with the subject. Thanks.

    • Cari Jean profile image
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      Cari Jean 6 years ago from Bismarck, ND

      Dian'swords4u - thank you so much for your comment and I commend you for working in the NICU. NICU nurses seem to possess something very special.

    • Cari Jean profile image
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      Cari Jean 6 years ago from Bismarck, ND

      Pamela - thank you so much for your comment. Yes, it can be a difficult situation for parents. I'm thankful though that there is more information about CHD out there that may help them through it.

    • Cari Jean profile image
      Author

      Cari Jean 6 years ago from Bismarck, ND

      DeBorrah - thank you so much for your comment. Be blessed!

    • Dian'swords4u profile image

      Dian'swords4u 6 years ago from North Carolina

      I am a nurse and worked in ICU for many years and did some time in NICU and am very aware of this condition. Very well written hub and you are to be commended for your making others aware of this silent killer of babies.

    • Pamela99 profile image

      Pamela Oglesby 6 years ago from United States

      Cari Jean, This hub has excellent information on children born with congenital heart defects that I am sure will help many people understand the nature of the problem and how difficult it is for the parents. Excellent hub.

    • DeBorrah K. Ogans profile image

      DeBorrah K Ogans 6 years ago

      Cari Jean, Very informative hub on congenital heart defects and the ongoing need for research and educational awareness... Thank you for sharing this. In HIS Love, Grace, Peace & Blessings!

    • Cari Jean profile image
      Author

      Cari Jean 6 years ago from Bismarck, ND

      RTalloni - thanks for your comment!

    • RTalloni profile image

      RTalloni 6 years ago from the short journey

      Bravo for highlighting this concern!