Every year, around one hundred children in the Region of Murcia are diagnosed with some type of congenital heart disease. These pathologies consist of defects in the development and formation of the heart, present during the period of gestation and in some cases hereditary. Today marks the World Day for this ailment.
It is one of the most common congenital malformations and the most important paediatric cardiac problem, with an estimated prevalence of eight in every 1,000 live newborns and an incidence of 1 percent in the general population. Thanks to the foetal medicine units of the Murcian Health Service, more than 60 percent of cases of congenital heart disease are diagnosed before birth.
The Paediatric Cardiology Service attends to around 2,000 patients, although not all of them are serious, there are different types. The head of the service, Francisco Castro García, says that, from the age of 18, patients are then seen by the adult cardiology service.
As they are structural anomalies, there are no medical treatments to cure or improve the majority of congenital cardiopathies, so surgery must be performed. In the Region of Murcia, around fifty operations a year are performed, which significantly reduces mortality, practically to zero, according to the Regional Ministry of Health, so that patients reach adulthood with specific follow-up.