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Why Are Babies Born With Heart Disease?
Excitement experienced from the first moment when you have decided to have a child starts increasing as the day of birth approached and it comes to a head together with the moment of birth. Baby is the  the most important joint production of a parent in the world  and excitement of nine months mutually experienced is replaced with unnameable peace and happiness when they took baby on their lap. From now on their child precedes in every step they took in the future life of parent. It becomes the biggest target to bring them up as happy, successive and above all healthy individuals. However, some children may have start a life with more difficult exam than their peers. 

Unfortunately, we are encountering with 12 thousand of new congenital heart diseases each year in our country  and  approximately half of them (6 thousand) are in need of cardiac surgery. These children are able to regain a chance to live a regular life by the help of true diagnosis, therapies and cardiac operations to be properly applied. By means of current knowledge, experience and technological facilities, cardiac and vein diseases previously appearing  desperate are from now now recuperated.

Why Were Babies Born With Cardiac Disease?
Even if reason of many congenital heart diseases are not fully known, it is accepted that some factors may lead to these diseases. If required to make precise description, congenital cardiac diseases occur for failure of heart  to complete its regular progression during development of body in the mother’s  womb.

Factors leading this formation may be listed as follows: 
•Existance of a congenital cardiac disease in mother, father or one of close relatives
•Kin marriage
•Unconscious drug administration during early period of pregnancy
•Infections experienced especially in the first 3 month of pregrancy
•Being exposed to radiation or x-ray during pregrancy
•Mother is a diabetic
•Using alcohol during pregnancy
•Existance of genetic diseases such as down syndrome (risk of cardiac disease is 50%), Turner syndrome
•Foot and mouth disease (coxsackie)

What are the congenital heart diseases frequently seen in our country?                  
Congenital cardiac abnormalities known as ‘cardiac hole’ by the people are; development disorders  encountered at the ventricle and auricles, holes between ventricle and/or auricles, localisation abnormalities of heart in rib cage (localisation in the right, left or middle of the rib cage), problems encountered at veins going into/out of heart, contraction and/or incapasity in cardiac valves,  coronary vein abnormalities or development disorders which many of them were simultaneously happened to. 

How does a cardiac disease diagnose in a baby?              
Possibility of childbirth with congenital cardiac disease for every expectant mother is 1 per 1000 live births. During development of a baby in the mother’s womb, risk of congenital cardiac disease formation increasesby the impact of genetic and/or environmental elements. 

 In the case a background of congenital cardiac disease in a family, an advanced maternal age or an abnormality other than heart in a baby was found, ‘Fetal Echocardiography’ method is used today from the 16th week of pregnancy against possibility of  cardiac disease. By the use of this method, heart of baby in mother’s womb is examined, and cardiac abnormalities are designated and a treatment schedule are made accordingly.

Can cardiac diseases occur during childhood, too?                
Cardiac diseases encountered during childhood are divided into two main groups such as congenital and acquired ones. Some of the congenital cardiac diseases give tips immediately after childbirth  or within several months as per its severity, and others are recognised in any upcoming period of life. Frequently encountered symptoms are: over-sweating, excessive breathing, cyanosis in lip and nail eponychiums, undernourishment, failure to thrive or weight loss. 

What is the most frequently encountered cardiac disease?  
Some of unserious cardiac diseases are recognised when a ‘murmur’ is heard at examinationsheld by a pediatrist to diagnose another illnesses. An examination should be made on your child by a pediatric cardiologist whenever a mummur was heard . During this examination, it may be required for your patient to undergo echocardiography, electrocardiography, holter EKG, x-ray and exercise test. These examinations do not afflict your child. Information may be obtained about heart and vein structures and operations when echocardiography was applied by the use of sound waves from thorax  outside, which has an outstanding position in diagnosing cardiac abnormalities. 

In electrocardiography, weak electrical current occuring in your child’s heart is recognised and they are documented. By the use of holter EKG, cardiac rhythm of your child for 24 hours or, if required, more is recorded and it is found whether it has rhythmic abnormality or not. In x-ray application, cardiac and lung sizes are found, and exercise capasity of your child is assessedby the use of exercise test. Moreover, for the purpose of learning whether baby has a cardiac abnormality in mother’s womb, Fetal echocardiography is applied from the 16th week of pregnancy. By the help of fetal echocardiography that is not damaging to mother and her baby, structure of vein going out of heart and their functions can be examined in detail. 

Do all congenital cardiac diseases require surgery? 
Severity of cardiac abnormality designates seriousness and mode of therapy. Treatment of many serious cardiac diseases is application of surgery  or is made through cardiac catheterisationexcept for medium or small cardiac holes not hindering healthy development of a patient or moreover having possibility to spontaneous closure and vein contractions or cardiac valves in moderate extend. 

What is cardiac catheterisation? 
Cardiac catheterisation is applied for  making diagnosis in patients for who  an echocardiography did not reveal any sufficient information and an operation was planned; for creating therapy as alternative to surgical treatment in some congenital diseases (such as PDA, ASD, closure of some VSD, occlusion of excessive veins, opening of valves or vein stenosis). Cardiac catheterisation may be applied to children of all ages starting from the first day of parturition.  Families are adviced about requisite information prior to this operation. For preventing children from getting hurt during operation, children are anesthetised by the trained anesthetists. The operation starts by making access through vein positioned at inguen. Specific tools (catheters) are used for this method. Capillary tubes are pushed forward through vascular and cardiac chambers. An opaque substance is delivered through these tools and heart images are obtained and, this process is completedafter receiving measurements. Patient is observed at the end of operation and allowed to depart 1 day after the operation. 

If your child is in need of having operation… 
Treatment of congenital cardiac diseases requires specific and meticulous care. In the treatment of child cardiac diseases, conditions of a surgery room and intensive care are different than those for adults. In the treatment of these diseases, a team who are  experienced and skillful in child/pediatric cardiology, child cardiac surgery and child anesthesia are significant.  It was made possible for children to lead a healthy, near-normal  life after child cardiac surgeries that were applied today by the use of developing technology and science. 

After completion of requisite examinations and analysis, it is decided whether your child is required to have a surgery or not by the assessment of pediatric cardiology and cardiovascular surgeons. If required, your child is hospitalized short time prior to surgery for preparing him to this operation.  Duration of your stay at hospital is average 5-10 days even if it may be elongated under some specific circumstances.  Requisite arrangements shall be made in a specifically designed room for enabling a child to feel himself in a home environment during this period. 

General health conditions of your child should be good prior to operation. If he/she has any health problem such as influenza, catarrh, fever, absolutely make your physicians advised about it/them. These disorders may lead any operation to postphone for several days. 

If you would like to see dresses to be slipped on children and rooms that were specifically designed for them, you may have assistance from our Employees  for Inpatient Admission.  Moreover, we will be supporting you with our Child and Adolescent Psychologists for  recovering  from this process as a family and for telling your child that he will have an operation. 

Preparations to Surgery  
For enabling an operation to complete successfully, routine examinations such as liver, renal functions, coagulation factors are made by an pediatrician and pediatric cardiologist prior to a surgery.  Donors able to donate blood and number of blood unit to be received are designated (4 units in open heart operations, 2 units in closed heart operations) as blood transfusion is required in all cardiac surgeries and this information is explained. Blood samples are carefully examined in terms of hepatitis B and hepatitis C, AIDS and all kind of infectious diseases.

Period of Intensive Care: After an operation, your child is taken to an intensive care unit rendering nonstop 24 hour service and consisting of specially trained physicians, nurses and technicians. At the intensive care unit, all vital functions of your child are followed by means of electronical devices. Equipments such as breathing apparatus, drains (evacuation pipes positioned for discharging bloods and liquids accumulated at the rib area), serums, catheters attached to nose are attached for rapid recovery of your child. Please do not worry. They are routine applications and they are step by step removed as your child has no requirement for them and starts getting healthy. You are regularly informed about process of intensive care.  For preventing your child from any contagious diseases, intensive care will not be open for visit. However, if your physician is found convenient,  one of your family members may enter into the intensive care by dressing special clothes. 

Servicing Period 
After completion of treatment in the intensive care unit, your child is taken to Pediatrics Service. In conjunction with daily care, breathing therapy comprising coughing and breathing exercises are applied for preventing his lung and breathing problems from occurrence. A special diet shall be prescribed after an operation. Prior to discharge, some tests shall be applied for checking health conditions of your child. As soon as test results and general conditions of your child are good, you will be discharged. 

What should we pay attention in the home? 
•Pay strict attention to the administration of drugs to be used in the home.
•Ensure your child to be active but not to get tired. 
•You may have your child to have bath. However, avoid from long-continued soap 
contact for the sake of recovery in surgical wound. 
•Do not use very hot or cold water.
•Ensure him to eat meals he liked. 
•Do not let him eat excessive fatty, salty or sugary meals.
•If your child is of small age, prefer soft and easy to digest meals such as soup,  baby  food.
•Never smoke near your child; keep out of smoking areas. 
•Warn him not to make acts to cause stretching his chest. 
•Pay attention not to let him to welter for 1 month after operation, not to impose an impact onto his chest for 3 months. 
•Immediately inform your physician when a problem such as fever, breathing disorder, oedema  has occured and come to hospital.