Alabama doctors discuss congenital heart defects in children

(WHNT) – Congenital heart defects, known as CHD, are the most common types of birth defects in babies, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

One in four babies will have a congenital heart defect. People with critical coronary artery disease require surgery or other procedures within their first year of life.

Of babies born with non-critical coronary heart disease, about 95% are expected to live to be at least 18 years old. Dr. Waldemar F. Carlo, Medical Director of Children’s of Alabama Pediatric Heart Transplantation, says most congenital heart conditions requiring surgery or intervention can be detected during pregnancy early in the second trimester.

Carlo says pediatricians look for specific signs during screenings.

“Chest pain with exercise, fainting or near fainting with exercise, but if there are any concerns families should definitely start with their local pediatrician and then make a decision,” Carlo told News 19.

Carlo added that having a strong family history of heart disease could also be a factor and making sure you talk to your pediatrician about the warning signs.

Although there is still concern, Carlo says the chance of having a baby with serious heart disease is very rare, around a tenth of a percent.