Here are ten things you may not know about Congenital Heart Defects (Chd).

According to the baby heart charity Tiny Tickers, 1 in 111 babies in the UK are born with CHD every year. That is around 12 babies each day being born with a heart condition. There are currently around 40 medically recognised variants of CHD.

Each year 3600 babies under the age of one will have to undergo heart surgery in the UK.

Undiagnosed condition

A shocking 1000 babies will leave a hospital in the UK each year with an undiagnosed heart condition.

Singer Jessie J and Backstreet Boys Brian Littrell, Arnold Schwarzenegger and multiple gold medal-winning TEAM USA Shaun Williams all have CHD.

US chat show legend Jimmy Kimmel has recently welcomed a son born with CHD Tetralogy of Fallot, and publicly raises awareness following his surgeries.

They kill more than cancer

Heart defects kill more children than cancer does.

There is no cure. Hearts can be operated on, repaired but they cannot be ‘fixed’, there is no cure only monitoring and management. It may be that the heart is not the only problem, and CHD could lead to problems with other organs or learning/ behavioural problems.

A CHD patient will need lifelong care and follow up appointments regardless of the severity of their condition. When they turn 18 they will transition into adult clinic care.

Those with CHD may have to take extra precautions when going to the dentist, getting a tattoo or piercing due to the increased risk of endocarditis which is a bacterial infection that will go into the heart lining.

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Those who have had open heart surgery will be more susceptible to this, but it is rare it can develop from poor oral hygiene.

The most common defect

Heart defects are the most common congenital defect. It can be detected as early as 20 weeks into pregnancy. Heart defects do not discriminate and can affect anyone. It is caused by an abnormal formation of the heart during foetal development. There is normally no one identifiable cause which is why the condition affects so many.

Heart Month

The month of February synonymous with love hearts is also widely recognised as heart month. Charities such as The British Heart Foundation raise awareness with challenges and fundraisers. It has gathered in popularity in recent years due to the ever-increasing popularity of social media and many heart families around the world take part.

On February 14 when you see a heart, think CHD.