Babies Born With a Heart Defect- Management and Follow-Up

“Gauri has got a temperature.” concerned Seema told Raj. Within no time, the couple was at the paediatrician’s clinic holding their two-month-old baby. History was of fever since one day, fluctuating around 100 degrees. There were no more symptoms and the baby was able to feed properly despite the fever. While the doctor was examining her, he heard something which was not normal. “Murmur it’s called in medical terms. Your baby is probably born with a heart defect”, he said. Upon hearing these words their world went upside down. Tears started in Seema’s eyes. “Is there any hope?” she impatiently asked. “Well, the murmur could be insignificant and the defect could heal on its own by four months. Come after one month and till then, there’s no need to worry but keep a close watch on her”, the doctor explained. All shattered from inside, they left for home.

Gauri was now three months old, feeding properly and an overall healthy baby. It was her second visit to the doctor. She was gaining weight and was active. This time, on examination, the murmur was feeble, yet persistent. So, the couple was advised to go for her heart Echo. They were explained that if the defect persisted, there would be no other way to treat it but surgery.

After two weeks they got an appointment for the Echo which was carried out at a nearby centre. The report was awaited. These new parents were praying for their child’s good health. When the reports came, “No heart defect detected” was the impression. It was a moment of great joy for them. They rushed to the doctor and he told them that it was a heart defect which healed on its own. Lucky parents they were.

One in hundred babies is born with a heart defect. Some heal with time while others remain persistent depending upon the severity. So keep a close watch on whether your baby is feeding properly or not, and gaining weight or not.

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