The specialized medical consultation of pediatric cardiology is the initial approach between the doctor and the patient. It is an essential first step that will allow establishing the cardiovascular status of the child, who comes to the consultation.
Pediatric cardiology studies congenital anomalies of the heart (congenital heart disease), which are all those alterations in the structure and function of the heart and great vessels, which are present from the formation of the heart in fetal life and which will have clinical expression at the time of birth. birth. It also studies all heart diseases acquired during childhood.
Serious congenital heart defects usually become apparent shortly after birth or during the first few months of life. Signs and symptoms may include:
- Pale gray or blue color to the skin (cyanosis).
- Fast breathing.
- Swelling in the legs, abdomen, and the area around the eyes.
- Shortness of breath during feeding, leading to poor weight gain.
Less serious congenital heart defects may not be diagnosed until later in childhood, since the child may not have noticeable signs of a problem.
If signs and symptoms occur in older children, they may include:
- Being short of breath easily during exercise or activity.
- Tendency to tire when doing exercise or activity.
- Fainting with exercise or activity.
- Swelling in the hands, ankles, or feet.
Types of heart defects
- Holes in the heart.
- Blood flow obstructions.
- abnormal blood vessels
- Heart valve abnormalities.
- A heart that was not fully developed.
- A combination of flaws.
Most congenital heart defects are due to problems early in the development of a child’s heart, the cause of which is unknown. However, there are certain environmental and genetic risk factors that can play a role, such as:
- Getting rubella during pregnancy.
- Mothers with poorly controlled diabetes.
- Taking certain medications during pregnancy.
- Alcohol consumption during pregnancy.
- Smoking during pregnancy.
- hereditary factor.