Monday, 8 February 2016

Congenital Heart Defect Awareness Week! #CHD

February is National Heart Month and this week running from yesterday to the to the 14 of February is Congenital Heart Defect Awareness Week!

Over the next few days I will be sharing some posts raising awareness...I am not talking about something I know nothing about....I have a Congenital Heart Defect and both my girls have Congenital Heart Defect's...You can read our story Part one and Part Two....The short story is I had a hole in my heart which closed but I am now left with leaky heart valves....After a freak accident it was discovered my girls both had holes in their hearts and needed surgery to fix them. They had their surgery and are now left with leaky valves too.....

CHD stands for Congenital Heart Defect and is an abnormality of the heart which occurs soon after conception and often before the mother is aware that she is pregnant.

Common examples of heart defects include holes in the inside walls of the heart, narrowed or leaky valves. In more severe forms of CHDs, blood vessels or heart chambers may be missing, poorly formed, and/or in the wrong place.

Congenital Heart Defects are the #1 birth defect in UK! One child in every 125 (8 per thousand) is born with a heart defect.

CHD’s are the #1 cause of DEATH from a birth defect killing twice as many children as cancer every year.

Most causes of CHDs are unknown. Only 15-20% of all CHDs are related to known genetic conditions

Serious congenital heart defects usually become evident during the first few hours, days, weeks and months of life.

Signs and symptoms could include:  

A blue tinge to the skin.
Excessive sweating.
Extreme tiredness and fatigue.
Poor feeding including shortness of breath during feedings, leading to poor weight gain.
Rapid heartbeat.
Rapid breathing.
Shortness of breath.
Chest pain.
Poor blood circulation.

CHD’s can not be cured, the heart must be monitored throughout life. Many will need multiple open heart surgeries and some may even need a heart transplant. 

It has been estimated that there are currently 250,000 adults with a CHD in the UK, approximately 1,000,000 in the US and similar numbers in proportional terms in Europe and the rest of the world....


  1. Great work on making people aware of this Kim :)

  2. Such a good thing to raise awareness of. I hadn't even realised this week existed

  3. Thanks for raising awareness Kim. I can't believe that the figures are so high!

  4. It's amazing people like you that raise awareness for such an important cause and something so personal to yourself too.
    Thanks for sharing x

  5. Great post Kim - those stats are quite scary aren't they? Interesting to read about how many adults with CHD there are in the UK - I hadn't come across those figures before.

  6. Great post for awareness raising! didnt realise how prevelant it was