Healthy Tips for February
From Children's Healthcare of Atlanta
people associate February with hearts. Chocolate hearts, paper hearts
healthy hearts. February is National Heart Month, a time for parents
to think about not only their own heart health, but also their childs.
Known Facts About Congenital Heart Disease:
It is the most common birth defect.
It affects 1 in 100 newborns.
It is the number one cause of death from birth defects during infancy.
The first symptom of a heart defect can also be the last.
number of children born with a congenital heart defect each year
40,000 would fill Chicagos Wrigley Field to
with standing room only! With these staggering
statistics, its important to know your familys health
history to help determine whether or not your child may be at risk
for congenital heart disease.
example of a heart defect that affects one of every 5,000 people,
typically children and young adults, is Long QT Syndrome (LQTS).
LQTS is a disorder of the electrical system of the heart, which
can be genetic or acquired. Electrical defects predispose an affected
person to a very fast heart rhythm. The rhythm is too fast for the
heart to beat effectively, so the blood flow to the brain decreases.
This causes the blood pressure to fall rapidly, causing a sudden
loss of consciousness even death.
and symptoms of LQTS include:
Loss of consciousness (fainting) during or immediately after exercise
Loss of consciousness when startled
Consistent or unusual chest pain and/or shortness of breath during
Family members with sudden, unexplained death
Family members with known diagnosis of LQTS
too many cases, the first symptom of LQTS can often be the last.
We want families to be aware of this disorder and to examine family
histories to see if they are at risk, said Robert Campbell,
M.D., Chief Medical Officer of Sibley Heart Center at Childrens
Healthcare of Atlanta.
4,000 children and young adults die from LQTS every year. Increasing
awareness of this often genetic disease can help save many lives.
Fortunately, most of these deaths are preventable if the condition
is recognized and treated.
Should a Parent Do If a Child Exhibits Symptoms of LQTS?
should ask their pediatrician, and tell the doctor about their childs
symptoms and their family history. The pediatrician may refer the
family to a pediatric cardiologist for further evaluation.
Should Be Screened?
Any young person with unexplained loss of consciousness, seizure
or cardiac arrest, especially if exercise- or emotion-related
Family members who have experienced an unexplained sudden death
of a young person
Blood relatives of patients with known LQTS
Asymptomatic children and adults with a family history of LQTS
Can I Get More Information About Long QT Syndrome?
information on Long QT Syndrome or to speak to a pediatric cardiologist,
contact Sibley Heart Center Cardiology of Childrens at 404-256-2593
or 800-542-2233 or the Sudden Arrhythmia Death Syndromes (SADS)
Foundation at 800-786-7723 or www.sads.org.
Healthcare of Atlanta, one of the leading pediatric healthcare systems
in the country, is a not-for-profit organization that benefits from
the generous philanthropic and volunteer support of our community.
With 430 licensed beds in two hospitals and more than 450,000 annual
patient visits, Childrens is nationally recognized for excellence
in cardiac, cancer, transplant, orthopaedic and neonatal care, as
well as in many other pediatric specialties. Child magazine ranks
Childrens as one of the top 10 childrens hospitals nationwide
and Childrens is among U.S.News & World Reports
top pediatric hospitals. To learn more about Childrens Healthcare
of Atlanta, visit www.choa.org
or call 404-250-KIDS.