Monday, February 9, 2009

CHD Awareness Week

February 7-14, 2009 is Congenital Heart Defect Awareness Week. I thought that these statistics were so interesting and a bit shocking.

A Congenital Heart Defect (CHD) means a child is born with an abnormally structured heart and/or large vessels. Such hearts may have incomplete or missing parts, may be put together the wrong way, may have holes between chamber partitions or may have narrow or leaky valves or narrow vessels. There are approximately 35 different types of congenital heart defects.

CHDs are the #1 birth defect in America, affecting approximately one in one hundred or 40,000 newborns every year.Each day 10,830 babies are born in the U.S.; 411 of them have a birth defect -- of those, 87 will be born with a congenital heart defect -- that's more than cerebral palsy (27), sickle cell disease (27), Down Syndrome (12), and oral/facial clefts (11) combined (total of 77). (According to the March of Dimes)

CHDs are responsible for one third of all birth defect-related deaths, and sadly 20 percent of children who make it through birth will not survive past their first birthday.
In the United States, twice as many children die from congenital heart defects each year than from all forms of childhood cancer combined, yet funding for pediatric cancer research is five times higher than funding for CHD.

For many children a new heart is the only option, but only about 30% of the children who need a heart transplant receive one in time. In 2007 there were 327 pediatric heart transplants performed in the United States. The average heart transplant only lasts around 10 years.

What can we do?

When Trig had his surgery they had to pump so much blood into him that it was amazing to me. I am so grateful for the people that donated blood. I have donated blood in the past but now it has a new meaning to me. It is my goal to donate as often as I can!


  1. As it happens I have an appointment with the red cross to donate blood on Wednesday! This post was a great reminder for me of why I do it!

  2. Gives you something to think about. Do you mind if I post the stats on my blog. I think more people need to know.

  3. Thanks for the information. You guys are the greatest!

  4. My son Nick was born with CHD almost 20 years ago. He had three heart surgeries and received a heart transplant before he turned two. Today he is attending college. I'm glad to see so many familys blogging about CHD. It was very lonely when we started on our journey with Nick.

    Susan May
    "Nick's New Heart"

  5. Hello,
    Just wanted to wish you a Happy CHD Week from Intermountain Healing Hearts.
    I was hoping to make some cookies and bring them by to share. I look forward to meeting your family.
    Heart Hugs,
    Carolyn Quigley
    President, IHH