Prenatal Information

Anti-depressants during pregnancy & CHD

Pregnant women who take antidepressants may have a slightly higher risk of delivering babies with rare birth defects. But the risks posed by the drugs are very small, according to two studies and an editorial in the New England Journal of Medicine. Both studies examined SSRIs, or selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors, a popular class ofContinue Reading

Risk of Heart Defects with Maternal PKU Syndrome

Phenylketonuria (PKU) is an autosomal recessive disorder of amino acid metabolism affecting approximately 1/10,000-15,000 infants in North America. It is most often due to deficiency of the enzyme phenylalanine hydroxylase which causes the accumulation of harmful metabolites, including phenylketones. If untreated, PKU leads to mental retardation, seizures, psychoses, eczema and a distinctive “mousy” odor. AContinue Reading

UTI Antibiotics May Up Birth Defect Risk

Some of the antibiotics used to treat urinary tract infections (UTI) during pregnancy may increase the risk of several birth defects if a woman uses them early in pregnancy, a new study in the Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine shows. Researchers found an increased risk for two classes of antibiotics: sulfonamide (example: Bactrim) andContinue Reading

Info on Tests & Procedures Often Used in Diagnosing CHD

Congenital heart defects are often, but not always, diagnosed in infancy. Some may be diagnosed before birth, and many may not be detected until much later in childhood or even in adulthood. If the heart problem is significant, your child’s pediatrician or family physician will likely refer your child to a pediatric cardiologist. Pediatric cardiologistsContinue Reading

Sensor to Detect Oxygen Loss in Unborn Children

Researchers at the University of Warwick, and the University Hospitals Coventry and Warwickshire NHS Trust, have devised a new sensor which has the power to dramatically improve the amount of early warning doctors and midwives get of a dangerous situation in the birth process when the unborn child’s brain is starved of oxygen – FetalContinue Reading

Prenatal Detection of CHD: A Doctor’s Perspective

Early last week, a 17 year old woman, carrying her first baby, was seen in the office for a routine ultrasound at about 18 weeks to confirm gestational age and assess fetal anatomy. During that examination, the baby was found to have a heart abnormality called an Endocardial Cushion Defect, or A-V Canal. This particularContinue Reading

First Trimester Use Of NSAIDs Is Associated With Cardiac Abnormalities In Babies

Women who take non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) early in their pregnancies may be more likely to give birth to babies with congenital defects, particularly cardiac septal defects. These are the findings of a case-control study published in the August issue of Birth Defects Research Part B, a journal published by John Wiley & Sons. ManyContinue Reading

The Heart and Down Syndrome

Abnormalities of the cardiovascular system are common in Down syndrome. Approximately half of all infants born with Down syndrome have a heart defect. Many of these defects have serious implications and it is important to understand them and how they may affect the child so that appropriate medical may be provided. What are the mostContinue Reading

Parents of CHD Babies are the Unsung Hereos

It’s a parents worst nightmare, a newborn baby going under the knife to repair a heart defect. If the baby survives, that’s when the real work begins for parents. University of Alberta nursing professor Gwen Rempel has seen hundreds of babies on the brink as a former pediatric cardiology nurse; she wanted to find outContinue Reading

Hospitalization Statistics on Pyloric Stenosis and Birth Defects

Babies born with a hole between the two smaller chambers of the heart, known as atrial septal defect, or with other heart and circulatory conditions accounted for a third of the 139,100 hospital admissions for birth defects in 2004, according to the News and Numbers from the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality. Digestive problemsContinue Reading