February 14, 2014

Five Signs and Symptoms of a CHD

Today is the last day of Congenital Heart Defect Awareness Week, but I hope you continue to think about it. CHDs cause a wide range of symptoms. Your baby may have only mild symptoms and tire easily, for example. He or she may have life-threatening symptoms, such as severe difficulty breathing. On the other hand, your baby might not have any symptoms that you notice at birth, but may have them later as he or she grows. These symptoms usually go away after the defect is corrected.

 

Heart Rate

Too high or too low? Normal is 100-160bpm

Energy

Seem extra fatigued? Falling asleep during feeding?

Appearance 

Pale, blue, or dusky skin?

Respiration

Breathing too fast? too slow? Normal is 40-60 breaths per minute

Temperature

Cold to touch? Especially feet and hands?


Charlie had a heart murmur that was heard the day after he was born. This is how we found out he had a CHD. We were told to look out for other symptoms. Charlie was sleeping ALL the time and he was not gaining weight. We had to bottle feed breastmilk instead of breastfeeding because nursing took more energy than he had. Shortly after his surgery he started gaining weight and was an alert little boy.

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