Understanding Congenital Heart Disease
Every year nearly seven out of every 1,000 babies born in the UK have some sort of heart defect – that’s one in every 145 babies born. As a result of routine screening during pregnancy an increasing number of defects, particularly the complex forms, are being diagnosed before birth. In fact, around 60% of congenital heart disease is diagnosed in babies aged under a year, 30% in children (aged 1-15), and 10% in adulthood (16 years and over). Sadly about half of these babies will need either medical treatment or surgery and even with treatment, congenital heart disease remains a substantial cause of disability and death in childhood. In most cases the cause is largely unknown.