Amrita Hospital, Faridabad, IAP organise CME on congenital heart disease

More than 25 paediatricians from Faridabad, Ballabgarh, and Palwal attended the day-long programme

Amrita Hospital, Faridabad held a CME on congenital heart disease (CHD) in association with the Faridabad chapter of the Indian Academy of Pediatrics (IAP). More than 25 paediatricians from Faridabad, Ballabgarh, and Palwal attended the day-long programme.

Prominent experts from Amrita Hospital addressed the audience, including Dr S Radhakrishnan, Head – Paediatric Cardiology and Adult Congenital Heart Disease, and Dr Ashish Katewa, Head – Paediatric & Congenital Heart Surgery. Dr Anil Nage, President and Dr Dhansukh Kumawat, Secretary, Faridabad chapter of the Indian Academy of paediatrics were also present on the dais.

Dr Radhakrishnan spoke about the symptoms of CHD and when surgical intervention is needed. He said, “In India, less than 2 per cent of children with congenital heart disease are diagnosed while still in the womb, compared to 95-95 per cent in Western countries. Even when diagnosed after birth, the children reach a tertiary centre at a very critical stage when it is a challenge to save their life. Technologies like fetal ECHO and ECHO cardiography are enabling us to diagnose CHD much more easily now. There is an urgent need to educate paediatricians about the warning signs of CHD and how to identify it early. Organising this CME is a step in that direction.”

Dr Katewa spoke about the frequently asked questions by parents when faced with CHD in their child. He said, “Many questions flash through the mind of parents when their child gets diagnosed with CHD. These relate to the disease itself, why their child got it, whether could they have done something to prevent it, can CHD happen to their future children too, what if the child doesn’t undergo surgery, the risks of surgery, the lifespan of a child with CHD, etc. A paediatrician needs to address their concerns with empathy.”

Dr Katewa added, “India is the CHD capital of the world, with 200,000 children born every year suffering from the disease. Though a large number of these children remain undiagnosed and therefore untreated, we are making steady progress in the field of pediatric cardiology and cardiac surgery. There is considerable misinformation about congenital heart defects not only among the public but also among physicians, which poses a big challenge in treating this disease. The purpose of this talk was to answer the questions that the parents and treating paediatrician may have about the causes and prevention of CHD, outcomes of treatment and long-term prognosis after surgery.”

Dr Nage said that the CME was held to educate paediatricians about CHD, especially the dangerous conditions that require immediate treatment. “In India, most pediatric heart care facilities are concentrated in cities, which hinders proper diagnosis and treatment of CHD in rural areas and smaller towns. We need more such facilities in all parts of India, with proper training of paediatricians for better understanding of CHD.”

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