Recently, Jimmy Kimmel from ‘Jimmy Kimmel Live’ gave a very emotional speech about his son Billy. He explained that at about three hours of life Billy’s nurse noticed that something was very wrong. After further investigation Jimmy was informed that his son had a heart defect.
If you have seen this video and some day desire to be a parent or if you are currently an expectant parent then this may have caused you some anxiety. You might be wondering how often something like this happens and could it happen to you.
What Is Congenital Heart Disease (CHD)
Congenital heart disease (CHD) is a heart defect an infant is born with. The heart is fully formed by 8 weeks of gestation and most abnormalities will have occurred by then. In most infants no specific cause can be found. However, CHD can be associated with many different factors including prior family history of CHD, genetic syndromes, maternal history of diabetes or smoking, and certain medications taken during pregnancy. CHD is one of the most common disorders with which infants are born.
Types of CHD
According to the CDC it affects 1% of babies, (40,000) born each year in the United States. Among the different types of CHD there are two main categories: cyanotic, where the infant will appear blue due to lack of oxygen and acyanotic heart defects. Jimmy Kimmel learned that his son had Tetralogy of Fallot, which is the most common cyanotic heart lesion in the neonatal period.