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Congenital heart defects (CHD)

Врожденные пороки сердца (ВПС)Congenital heart defects (CHD) is a large and diverse group of diseases related to anatomical defects of the heart and major blood vessels. The most commonly encountered defects are: septal defects (“holes” between the atria of the heart-atrial septal defect, between the ventricles of the heart — ventricular septal defect), patent ductusarteriosus (PDA, which usually closes within the first weeks after birth in healthy people), vascular stenosis (aortic stenosis, pulmonary artery stenosis).

Congenital heart defects are seen in 6–8 out of 1000 births. Recently this figure has increased, mostly, due to improved detection. The research lists the following among the predisposing factors: unfavourable ecological factors, diseases during pregnancy, and genetic predisposition. Moreover, some defects can be combined (for example, septal defect and patentductusarteriosus), or present concurrently with other developmental anomalies (for example, with Down syndrome).

The nature of surgical treatment consists in repairing the anatomical defects of the heart and vessels. Congenital defects are mostly treated surgically. Until recently, only major surgeries, i.e. open heart surgeries with incision into the chest cavity, were conducted. Now many defects (but, unfortunately, not all of them) can be repaired endovascularly, “without an incision”: special instruments are inserted into the heart through vessels which help to close holes or vessels, or, conversely, to open the lumen of a vessel. Thus, occluders are used to close atrial septal and ventricular septal defects; occluders or coils are used for PDA (depending on the size of the defect); balloons and stents — for vascular stenosis.

The cost of a set of medical instruments for repairing congenital heart defects ranges as follows: for closing PDA — from 30,000 to 100,000 rubles, for closing atrial septal and ventricular septal defects — from 150,000 to 220,000 rubles, for correction of stenosis — from 30,000 to 120,000 rubles depending on the specific defect, model, manufacturer, and the presence of combined defects.

We currently provide assistance with purchasing medical instruments for endovascular surgeries for repair of congenital heart defects for children who are being treated in more than 50 Russian hospitals. The list is constantly growing. We are about to start cooperation with two Federal centres for cardiovascular surgery in Astrakhan and Penza.

Faina Zakharova

“Every day we receive letters where mothers and fathers tell us about the lives of their children after surgery. You could make a book out of those stories. In a sense it could be called a textbook, a short guide for those who want to be happy. In it children show how to get into things, enjoy, exhibit magnanimity and gratitude, how to be strong and what is more, how to be children. For children are the happiest people in the word. It is only necessary to ensure that they are healthy”.