Posts Tagged ‘ child disease ’

Congenital Heart Disease

Sunday, February 14th, 2021

Congenital heart defects (CHDs) are the most common type of birth defect seen in newborns and infants. India sees a birth prevalence of 9/1000 and more than 2,00,000 children are born with congenital heart disease every year. Of these, about one-fifth are likely to have a  birth serious defect and require a medical procedure or surgery in the first year of life. Nearly 10% of the infant mortality seen worldwide is due to congenital heart defects. Lack of awareness and missed or delayed diagnosis, inaccessibility to specialized cardiac care and economic constraints make the survival chances very low for children born with critical congenital heart defects. 

What are Congenital Heart Defects (CHDs)?
It is an abnormality or structural problem of the heart or circulatory system that an infant is born with. CHDs are present at birth and can affect the structure of a baby’s heart and the way it works. They can affect how blood flows through the heart and out to the rest of the body. CHDs can vary from being mild to severe and some babies need life-saving surgeries to survive at a very young age. About 20% to 30% of people with a CHD have other physical problems or developmental or cognitive disorders.

Risk factors of Congenital Heart Defects
It is very difficult to ascertain what causes a congenital heart defect. Some of the heart problems form before a baby is born, here are some factors that make these conditions more likely:

  • Diabetes – Monitor your blood sugar levels regularly during your pregnancy.  This condition can affect the formation and growth of your baby’s heart.
  • Rubella (German Measles) – If you get rubella during pregnancy, it can create problems with your baby’s heart. In case you were not vaccinated as a child for MMR, speak to your doctor about it.
  • Drinking and Smoking – Both these habits can lead to congenital heart defects and other problems with your baby’s development. Avoid them while you’re pregnant.
  • Medications – If you take any prescription drugs, talk to your gynaecologist to find out if they are safe in pregnancy as some medicines can increase your risk of heart and other birth defects.
  • Genetics -Your baby’s chance of having congenital heart defects rises if either of their parents or any relatives have problems. Talk to your doctor about genetic testing and counselling if a heart defect runs in your family.

Symptoms of Congenital Heart Defects
Doctors use a series of tests to diagnose congenital heart defects. They often find severe defects during pregnancy or soon after birth. Signs and symptoms of severe defects in newborns include:

  • Rapid breathing
  • Cyanosis – a bluish tint to the skin, lips, and fingernails
  • Fatigue
  • Poor blood circulation
  • Swelling of the legs or stomach

The treatment of your child depends on the type of the defect, how severe it is, and a child’s age, size, and general health. Many children with congenital heart defects don’t need treatment, but others do. Treatment can include medicines, catheter procedures, surgery, and heart transplants.

For some people, signs or symptoms of this disease occur later in life. Adult congenital heart disease shows the same symptoms as above and normally takes one of two forms: a defect with no symptoms early in life that becomes associated with symptoms later on or a complex defect repaired during childhood that requires further repair or new treatment in adulthood. Because repaired congenital heart defects can still cause problems later on, patients with a defect repaired in childhood must be regular with their cardiac health check-ups throughout their lives. Occasionally, an adult will experience symptoms of a more complicated defect for the first time as an adult.

Treatment at Kokilaben Dhirubhai Ambani Hospital
The Children’s Heart Centre at Kokilaben Dhirubhai Ambani Hospital is a world-class facility specialising in providing comprehensive care for neonates, infants, children, and adults suffering from simple and complex congenital heart defects. The multidisciplinary team is made up of experts from Paediatric Cardiology, Paediatric and Congenital Heart Surgery, Paediatric Cardiac Anaesthesia, Paediatric Cardiac Intensive care areas, supported by specially trained Paediatric Perfusionists, Nurses, Respiratory Therapists, social workers and counsellors.

We have a Full Time Specialist System that ensures doctors are available to our patients round the clock. This is highly beneficial in ensuring extraordinary and live-saving cardiac care to adults and children suffering from congenital heart defects. For more information regarding the Children’s Heart Centre please visit:

A Vigilant Outlook

Monday, March 3rd, 2014

Regular physical examination of your child by a paediatrician is crucial as it can help in the prevention or early diagnosis of many health problems. Here’s an overview on some of the warning signs in children, which if not taken care on time could be a matter of great concern.

Seeing Eye To Eye

Vision problems are common among school-age kids. Your child’s vision is essential for his/her success at school. If the vision suffers, so will the schoolwork and overall performance in academics. Therefore, parents and teachers should be aware of the common signs of the possible vision concerns.

Warning Signs

  • Complains of blurred or double vision
  • Bumps into objects
  • Red eyes or watery eyes
  • Encrusted eyelids
  • Sensitivity to light
  • Rubs eye frequently
  • Headaches or tired eyes
  • Squints or tilts the head to see better
  • Consistently sits too close to the TV or holds a book too close to the eyes
  • Gets lower grades than usual
What Should You Do?

Schedule an appointment with your optometrist or ophthalmologist if your child exhibits any of these signs. A consultation with your doctor may reveal that your child has refractive errors that can be easily corrected with eyeglasses or contact lenses.


According to the American Optometric Association, children should have an eye exam no later than 6 months of age. Unless problems are detected, the next exam should be at age three, then again before entering school, and every two years thereafter. However, if your child requires eyeglasses or contact lenses, it is advisable to schedule visits every 12 months or as advised by the treating doctor.

Fine Tuning The Frequency

Hearing loss is again common in school age children, and this can affect their ability to comprehend and use language. Many children have hearing loss that fluctuates due to recurring ear infections. Other predisposing factors include congenital abnormalities, head trauma and infections like meningitis.

Warning Signs

  • Poor response or no response to any voice at normal speaking level
  • Absence of startle response to loud sounds
  • Difficulty following instructions or requests despite listening attentively
  • Reduced or absent responses to environmental noises like car horns, approaching footsteps, telephone rings, opening or closing of the doors
  • Consistently setting the volume at an unusually high level while watching
  • television or listening to the radio/music
  • Slow language and speech development
What Should You Do?

If you suspect your child has a hearing loss, you should consult your paediatrician, who may refer you to a specialist. Some types of conductive hearing loss can be corrected with surgery or by the removal of impacted ear wax, while the others may require a different treatment approach based on the pathology.


Listening to very loud music, especially with earphones, can permanently damage your child’s hearing ability.

Understanding Learning Disability

Learning Disability (LD) is a general term that describes specific kinds of learning problems. Learning disabilities tend to be diagnosed when children reach school age, and can affect children both academically and socially.

Warning Signs

  • Trouble learning the alphabet, spellings, rhyming words or connecting letters to their sounds
  • Unable to understand what he or she reads
  • Very messy handwriting
  • Struggles to express ideas in writing
  • Learns language late with limited vocabulary
  • Difficulty in following directions
  • Gets confused over math symbols and misreads numbers
  • Behaves inappropriately in social situations
What Should You Do?

If a child shows any one of these signs, teachers and parents may want to investigate more. The child might have to be examined and evaluated by a doctor to see if he or she has learning disability.

Be Positive

Parents support to their children can make a huge difference. And the good news is that parents involvement in the educational process, both at school and home, can ensure optimal progress in the academic performance of their children.

Childhood Obesity

Thursday, February 20th, 2014

Childhood obesity is on the rise. Childhood obesity is not just a cosmetic problem anymore as these children are likely to stay obese into adulthood and more likely to develop diseases like diabetes and cardiovascular disorders at a younger age.


  • Increased intake of junk and processed food products that are high in fat and sugars but low in vitamins, minerals and other healthy micronutrients
  • Decreased physical activity levels with the growing use of computers, increased time watching television and decreased physical education in schools
  • Heredity and family history of obesity
  • Social and economic development and policies in the areas of agriculture, transport, urban planning, food processing, distribution and marketing

A higher chance of premature death or disability in adulthood Obesity into adulthood associated with many short-term and long-term health problems Developing Non-Communicable Diseases (NCDs) like diabetes and cardiovascular disorders at a younger age

  • By including more fruits and vegetables as well as legumes, whole grains and nuts in your diet
  • By limiting energy intake of total fats, and shifting fat consumption from saturated fats to unsaturated fats
  • By restricting the intake of sugars and salt rich foods
  • By increasing physically activity, i.e., at least 60 minutes of regular, moderate to vigorous-intensity activity everyday
Just Remember

  • Always start a meal with salads
  • Minimise the use of high-calorie dressings, cheese, butter, mayo and sauces
  • Choose grilled rather than fried foods, thus avoiding items like French fries, fried snacks and deep-fried chicken
  • Select low-fat milk or orange juice rather than high-fat milk shakes
  • Avoid purchasing salt-rich foods like
  • processed cheese, fast foods, ready-to-eat food products, salad dressings, pickles and potato chips
  • Limit the intake of beverages, such as
  • carbonated soft drinks and carton juices
  • Practice balance, variety and moderation in your as well as your family’s diet, and your children are likely to follow suit