Half of the babies who have to correct their heart disease are left uncared for

According to WHO, about 130 million children worldwide suffer from congenital heart disease (Photo: TV Brasil).

According to data from Socesp (Sociedade de Cardiologia do Estadode São Paulo), half of newborns who need surgery to correct congenital heart disease remain in Brazil without care. However, the entity estimates that the percentage may have risen to 70% during the covid-19 pandemic.

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), about 130 million children worldwide suffer from congenital heart disease.

According to the Brazilian Ministry of Health There are 10 cases for every 1000 births, or 1 child for every 100 births has a cardiovascular malformation.

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According to the Oswaldo Cruz Foundation (Fiocruz) website, this represents about 30,000 children with congenital heart disease, 6% of whom die before the age of one. After birth, severe forms of illness can cause 30% of neonatal deaths. Last Sunday (12), the day of congenital heart disease was celebrated.

In an interview with non-governmental organization (NGO) Pro Criança Cardíaco and Agência Brasil, medical director of Isabela Rangel, congenital heart disease was described as a malformation or abnormality of the cardiac respiratory structure or function of the heart. “This happens during the fetal period [da criança].. ”

Isabella said there is no clear cause for congenital heart disease caused by the interaction of genetic and environmental factors. “Genetics, we talk when they are patients with other syndromes that may be associated with heart malformations. Environment, lupus that pregnant women develop when mothers use some kind of medicine or drug. There have been illnesses such as diabetes, or some viruses that cause cardiac malformations. ” Doctors also point out that it is necessary to pay attention to the history of heart disease in previous pregnancies and genetic inheritance.

Hereditary syndrome is also a factor associated with intracardiac malformations such as Down’s syndrome, and some of the patients may have endocardial cushioning deficiency, especially among heart diseases. Older mothers are also considered a risk factor for congenital heart disease.


Isabella Langer emphasized that there is no preventative measure, but said that all women wishing to become pregnant need to know their health. That way, your doctor can follow up and advise on medicines and medicines that should not be used during pregnancy. Women should avoid alcoholic beverages and smoking, which can change fetal development, and maintain a healthy diet and habits.

It is also important to check your vaccination schedule and see if you need vaccination before you become pregnant.

Isabella cites a recent study, emphasizing the importance of healthy eating habits. According to it, the fortification of some foods with folic acid was associated with a reduced incidence of congenital heart disease.


Diagnosis of congenital heart disease is made while the child is still in the womb of the mother. According to Isabella, the NGO she supervises recognizes the importance of performing morphological and fetal ultrasonography (ultrasonography) that can detect congenital heart disease for all pregnant women specialists. It is trying to make it.

Fetal echocardiography is a method that can identify structural lesions before birth and should generally be performed between the 24th and 28th weeks of gestation. “And if you have a heart disease that requires intervention on the first day of your life, this is essential for your baby’s prognosis. This pregnant woman has a fetus with heart disease, an important and complex heart. It’s even more so when you know that you’re sick, there’s all the care to give birth to a baby in a health unit where she has an ICU [unidade de terapia intensiva]The child has an echo after birth, where there are resources, in order for the baby to be treated with due care. ”

Not all babies with congenital heart disease require surgery at birth. It depends on the pathology in the heart. Intervention depends on the condition and severity of the condition. Isabella pointed out that some babies will only have surgery long after, while others with more serious heart disease will have to undergo intervention during the neonatal period.

Some heart diseases can be treated by hemodynamics. Instead of undergoing thoracotomy, the child can undergo minimally invasive surgery called therapeutic cardiac catheterization. “This is just one example. There are several heart diseases that can be treated with therapeutic catheterization. They are invasive but far less than heart surgery.” Early diagnosis is essential, especially in enhanced Isabella, the most serious heart disease. is.

Doctors pointed out that one of the obstacles that delays diagnosis is the lack of information from the family about the presence of heart disease in children. “Pediatrician follow-up is essential because regular visits can identify any changes that suggest heart disease. Therefore, the pediatrician will refer the baby to a specialized center.”


The focus of the Pro Criança Cardíaco project is to care for poor children and adolescents with heart disease. This project accepts children on an outpatient basis and can be referred to an NGO partner, Pro Criança Jutta Batista Children’s Hospital, depending on whether the case is surgical. The same thing happens if there is a diagnosis of therapeutic catheterization. “All invasive procedures are done at the hospital level.”

Pro Criança Cardíaco accompanies an 18-year-old child from infancy to adulthood, “because the patient cannot focus infectious in the mouth”, medication, cardiologist, nutritionist, social worker, psychologist, We provide an interdisciplinary care team that includes a dentist. ..

The Pró Criança Cardíaco project is not a hospital. Founded in 1996 by cardiologist Rosa Celia, is a non-profit medical institution that provides free care for children and adolescents with congenital heart disease. With its 25-year presence, it has helped 15,100 children and adolescents with heart problems, diagnosed more than 33,000 heart diseases, and sent 1,659,000 invasive procedures, heart surgery, and catheterization to partner hospitals. ..

At its headquarters in Rio de Janeiro, NGOs support about 160 children a month in clinics undergoing clinical evaluation, electrocardiography, echocardiography, and 24-hour halter. The Pro Criança Jutta Batista Children’s Hospital will perform other outpatient examinations such as hematological evaluation and tomography, as well as invasive procedures such as heart surgery and catheter insertion.

After discharge, I will return to outpatient treatment and continue treatment. Throughout the process, the team that accompanies the patient is the same and provides all support.

To register for the first service, you need to call number (21) 3239-4500 from 8 am to 6 pm, Monday through Friday. Pro Criança Cardíaco currently has 16 vacancies for first care. Vacancy is filled according to availability or urgency previously assessed by the medical team.

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