How can I help my sister who has a congenital heart defect?

Support her. I am not sure what type of defect she has, but minor congenital defects such as "holes in heart" (atrial or venticular septal defects) may not cause much problem at all. More major defect will require care from a specialist --heart doc/surgeon/ and primary care physician as a team. Be there for her, help her live her life the best she can. Say that you love her! good luck to you both.

Related Questions

I need help! My 16yr old sister was told she has a congenital heart defect. I'm pregnant and worried about my baby?

See below. There is no increased risk of your child having a heart problem, because your sister does. Read more...
Your sisters issue. Your general risk of a heart defect in your child is equal to that of the general population. (small) The risk your sister has for any of her offspring to have any type of heart defect is about 4%. Read more...

If one sibling has a congenital heart defect, should all siblings get a heart echo?

Not necessarily. This depends on the nature of the heart defect. Some are picked up because there is a murmur that is significant. Usually siblings do not need an echo just because one does. If there is a genetic predisposition like in idiopathic hypertrophic subaortic stenosis then the siblings might all need to be checked out. That is easily determined by your physician and cardiologist. Read more...
No. Have them seen by their pediatrician who might want to obtain an ecg, but if the medical history is unremarkable, the child has no symptoms and is growing well, the physical exam is normal and the ECG shows no problem there is usually no need for an echo. Read more...
It depends . The answer depends on the likelihood of a genetic influence, and the likelihood of being able to diagnose with physical examination. Some congenital heart defects, such as bicuspid aortic valve, are more likely to have a genetic influence and may be difficult to diagnose by examination. Others, such as a vsd, have low likelihood of genetic influence and high accuracy with diagnosis by exam. Read more...

What sort of disease is a congenital heart defect?

Born with it. It is a heart defect you are born with. It may be simple, moderate, or very serious. They include "holes in the heart", valve problems, malformed or absent chambers, valves, or blood vessels. Just under 1 % of all babies are born with some type of defect, often minor and temporary. They are usually diagnosed shortly after birth, occasionally much later. Read more...

What are the symptoms of a congenital heart defect?

They vary widely. A congenital heart defect may be so mild that there are no symptoms during an individual's lifetime. At the other end of the spectrum, there may be severe distress at the time of birth. There are many different types of congenital heart defects and levels of severity such that a description of common symptoms is usually related to a specific defect. Read more...
Lots of symptoms. Can be related to chd. Rhythm problems, dizziness, fainting, water accumulation in legs or torso, difficulty breathing, nightly cough, weakness..... And lots more. Read more...

How frequently does a congenital heart defect go undiagnosed?

Hard question. This depends on who is evaluating. It is highly unusual for an important congenital heart defect to be missed by a pediatric cardiologist. A major diagnostic tool for the diagnosis of congenital heart disease is a careful, focused physical examination. Echocardiography under the direction of a pediatric cardiologist is an important, reliable tool to confirm the diagnosis and establish details. Read more...

Could my baby have a congenital heart defect and nobody know about it?

Yes. Most severe defects will be found quickly. Some of my patients were diagnosed between 6 months and 3 years old. A few defects such as ASD (atrial septal defect) may not be diagnosed until adulthood. Read more...
Define defect. The complexity of how the heart forms gives rise to many possible errors, defects. The worst are diagnosed within hours of birth. Some significant ones ( VSD,ASD, AS) are usually picked up on exam in the first weeks. Some are normal structures that may malfunction.(PDA) Rare re-routing of heart blood supply can be undetected. A PFO is a normal incidental finding on an autopsy in most people. Read more...

How likely is it for a child to be born with a congenital heart defect?

0.8% Overall the incidence of congenital heart disease is about 8 per 1000 live births. The risk is higher when one of the parents has a congenital heart defect. The risk also increases for subsequent children once a couple has had a child with heart disease. It is also higher in association with certain exposures and syndromes. Read more...
About 1 out of 100. Heart defects are the most common birth defect. Just under 1% of people are born with a congenital heart defect (a little less than 1/100). This includes very minor things and very severe defects. Some people are at higher risk, especially if there is a family history of heart defects, or if there are associated genetic syndromes. If you have concern for your child, ask your pediatrician. Read more...

Can a congenital heart defect lead to disability requiring a wheelchair?

Sure. Congenital heart defects are associated with significant brain injury both before and after corrective surgery, therefore cerebral palsy or more mild neurodevelopmental defects can occur that would limit one's ability to ambulate or function independently. Read more...