Congenital heart disease and its classification

What are congenital heart diseases?

Congenital heart disease can be classified into cyanotic and non-cyanotic. The word cyanosis refers to the blue or purple coloration that patients acquire in the face, mouth, hands or skin in general, due to low levels of oxygen in the blood.

Reasons for low blood oxygen levels:

This occurs because:
- Not enough blood is flowing into the pulmonary artery (what we call pulmonary hypoflow).
- Oxygenated blood mixes with deoxygenated blood.
- The blood circulates incorrectly, as is the case when the arteries leaving the heart are invertedly connected to the ventricles, that is, the pulmonary artery leaves the left ventricle and the aorta leaves the right ventricle, this condition is called "Transposition of Great Arteries”.

Symptoms of congenital heart disease in children:

Children with non-cyanotic congenital heart disease present symptoms associated with cardiac malformation, but the child does not present blue or purple coloration.

Severe heart disease can be cyanotic or non-cyanotic and, according to medical criteria, will require two or more surgeries. In the case of very complex malformations and/or hearts with a single ventricle, the first surgery is to stabilize the child.

Norwood, Fistula or Hybrid. (These are the three types of procedures that can be done in the first surgery). Subsequently, these patients with a single ventricle will.

Surgical treatment of congenital heart disease in children:

undergo a second surgery called Glenn, which, depending on their health conditions, can be done around 6 months of life. The period of time between the first surgery and the second surgery is called "First inter-stage period" and is a time in which the child remains at home under the care of their parents or caregivers and requires permanent monitoring scheduled by their treating doctors.

Despite medical advances throughout the world, it has been recognized that the level of frailty of these children during the interstage period is high and they are easily prone to decompensation with situations that would not affect other children of the same age, such as a flu infection.