THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: When congenital heart diseases among infants are on the rise, a total of 840 cases were registered in the state in 2019 among which 130 infant operation cases were reported. In April, 180 cases were registered according to the data revealed by 'Hridayam' initiative of the government of Kerala.
"Congenital heart disease can affect the shape and the functioning of the heart. Early intervention is possible only if it is visible in the pregnancy screening. In most cases the disease is identified after birth. Sometimes symptoms reveal themselves only weeks after birth which reduces the chances of rescue. Eco-cardiography is advised between 18 to 22 weeks - critical heart diseases can be identified with this imaging test," said Dr Lakshmi S, associate professor, pediatric cardiology, SAT, Medical College.
A certain case of the congenital heart disease includes the left side of the heart being unable to form. According to Dr Lakshmi, Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome (HLHS) is not salvageable in most cases and it needs a three-step surgical procedure or even a heart transplant in some cases. Similarly, Hypoplastic Right Heart Syndrome (HRHS) is also observed as one of the most critical heart diseases among infants. "If the case of HRHS is identified earlier we often give parents an option to terminate the child in the womb itself as the chances for the child to survive are very less. In some cases, planned delivery is advised where the mother will be taken to a Tertiary referral hospital," she added.
Dr A Santhoshkumar, head of paediatrics, Medical College, opined even though infants with critical congenital heart disease (CCHD) are taken to hospital, the chances of them surviving after the surgery is doubtful. "We cannot assure the quality of life after the surgery. Depending on the disease some might not survive in the long run," he said.