Children with cardiac defects often require extra medical, emotional, and physical support from their caregivers. Even after corrective surgery, many individuals with heart birth defects will still require lifelong care and treatment. Medically, some people may require antibiotics to decrease infection risk before undergoing any kind of procedure or surgery. Emotionally, the heart defect may have caused growth or developmental delays, so supporting your child through any difficulties they may have is important. Your child might feel insecure about being smaller than their classmates or they may have difficulties learning. Physically, children may have limits placed on their exercise and sports activities. Support them through all of these needs, and find a therapist if necessary to help them cope with their development.
Jonathan E. Yager, MD
- internal medicine
Location and Office HoursCardiac Care Associates PC
Fairfax, VA 22031
- Anthem Healthkeepers (BC/BS)
- Coventry Health Care
- Kaiser Permanente Health Plans
- MDIPA/MAMSI (UnitedHealthcare)
- United Healthcare
- Inova Fairfax Hospital
- Inova Loudoun Hospital Center
- Reston Hospital Center
How do I manage my child's heart birth defect on a daily basis?
UCLA Health answered
How can pecans help my heart?
Nut flours are a great way to pack nutrition into muffins, waffles, breads and more. And a new study shows that pecan meal may be especially helpful in boosting heart-healthy antioxidants.
In a small study of men and women, eating a test meal made of whole or ground pecans produced some pretty amazing benefits over another meal that contained the same number of calories but was made with refined ingredients. The pecan meal resulted in significantly higher blood concentrations of antioxidants and even doubled the participants' blood levels of gamma-tocopherol -- a form of vitamin E. What's more, three hours after eating the test meal made of whole pecans, the men and women had significantly lower blood levels of oxidized low-density lipoprotein -- the stuff that nicks and wears away artery walls.
You don't have to eat a whole meal of pecans to get benefits from this toasty little hickory fruit. Just be creative in how you cook throughout the day. Baking with pecan flour is a great way to replace nutritionally empty calories -- like white flour -- with something that does a body good. You can even add ground pecans to ground beef to make healthier burgers. And add some crunch to oatmeal, salads and yogurt with some chopped pecans on top. Researchers think pecans may be particularly healthy because they have some of the highest levels of antioxidant phenols around, compared with other nuts.
What are common congenital heart defects?
Intermountain Healthcare answeredAlthough the term "heart defect" can refer to many different heart problems, it's often used to talk about defects in the wall (septum) that divides the two upper or two lower chambers of the heart. Three of the more common defects are:
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- Atrial septal defect (ASD). This congenital defect (birth defect) is fairly common. With ASD, there is a hole in the wall between the left atrium and right atrium, the two upper chambers of the heart. The hole allows oxygen-rich and oxygen-poor blood to mix and overfills the right atrium with blood. As a result, too much blood flows into the right ventricle and lungs. Your heart has to work harder, and your lungs can be damaged.
- Patent foramen ovale (PFO). Fetuses have a normal opening (called a foramen ovale) between the left and right atria of the heart. But if this opening fails to close naturally soon after birth, the result is an open (patent) foramen ovale, or PFO. Most of the time, this defect doesn't cause significant health problems and doesn't require treatment. When a PFO is serious enough to cause problems, healthcare providers may recommend a procedure to close the hole.
- Ventricular septal defect (VSD). This problem -- which may be a birth defect or a result of damage to the heart -- is a hole in the wall between the two lower chambers of the heart (the ventricles). With a VSD, oxygen-rich blood from the heart's left ventricle is forced through the hole into the right ventricle. The blood is then pumped back to the lungs -- even though it's already been refreshed with oxygen. This is inefficient and makes your heart work harder.