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Understanding Congenital Heart Defects in Newborns: A Complete Guide For Parents

Not everyone is born with a perfect heart and some Congenital heart defects (CHDs) are among the most common types of birth defects, affecting approximately 1 in every 100 newborns all over the world. These defects often involve abnormalities in the structure of the heart or the major blood vessels near the heart, which can easily disrupt the normal flow of blood. Understanding CHDs is very crucial for early detection, prompt medical intervention, and better outcomes for challenged or affected infants. In this blog post, we’ll uncover various types of CHDs, how they are detected, some common symptoms, and available treatment options for the same.

Types of Congenital Heart Defects:

CHDs include a wide range of abnormalities, each affecting different parts of the heart. Some common types include the following:

1. Ventricular Septal Defect (VSD):

This defect involves a hole in the wall (septum) that separates the heart’s lower chambers (ventricles). VSDs can vary in size and severity and is often unique for all newborns with this medical condition.

2. Atrial Septal Defect (ASD):

In ASD, there is a hole in the wall that separates the heart’s upper chambers (atria). Like VSDs, ASDs can vary in size and severity and is unique to many newborns with heart abnormalities.

3. Tetralogy of Fallot (TOF):

TOF is a complex CHD which is characterized by four specific types of heart defects: a ventricular septal defect, pulmonary valve stenosis, overriding aorta, and right ventricular hypertrophy in newborns.

4. Transposition of the Great Arteries (TGA):

In TGA, the positions of the pulmonary artery and the aorta switch places, leading to abnormal blood flow between the heart and the lungs which makes it difficult to oxygenate blood in the right amount.

5. Coarctation of the Aorta:

This defect involves a narrowing of the aorta which is the main artery responsible for carrying blood from the heart to the body, leading to decreased healthy blood flow to the body.

Detection of Congenital Heart Defects:

Most of the CHDs may be detected during pregnancy through routine prenatal screening, such as fetal ultrasound or fetal echocardiography. However, some defects may not be detected until after birth or during infancy. Common diagnostic tests for CHDs always include the following:

• Pulse oximetry screening: It measures oxygen levels in the blood, which can help identify some CHDs shortly after birth to doctors and medical professionals.

• Echocardiogram (Echo): An ultrasound of the heart that provides detailed images of the heart’s structure and its function, allowing healthcare providers to diagnose specific defects if they exist.

Symptoms and Signs:

The symptoms and signs of CHDs can vary depending on the type and severity of the defect. Some common signs that may indicate a CHD in newborns include the following:

• Cyanosis (bluish tint to the skin, lips, or nails due to low oxygen levels)

• Rapid breathing or difficulty breathing

• Poor feeding or fatigue during feeding

• Failure to thrive (poor weight gain and growth)

• Persistent coughing or wheezing

• Irregular heartbeat or heart murmur (abnormal sounds heard during a physical examination)

Treatment Options:

The treatment for CHDs also depends on the type and severity of the defect identified in the newborn. While some defects may require constant monitoring and detailed observation, others may include surgical intervention or other medical procedures. Common treatment options include the following:

• Medications: Certain medications may be prescribed by expert doctors to manage all the symptoms, control blood pressure, or prevent further complications.

•             Catheter-based procedures: These are minimally invasive procedures, which include balloon angioplasty or similar procedures, and may be performed to repair certain defects permanently.

•             Surgery: Open-heart surgery may be very necessary to correct more complex defects, such as VSDs, TOF, or TGA. Surgical techniques may include patching holes, repairing valves, or reconstructing blood vessels very carefully.


Congenital heart defects are regarded as complex medical conditions for newborns that require early detection and appropriate management to ensure the best possible outcomes for affected infants as well as their families. With recent advances in medical technology and interventions of the 21st century, many children with CHDs are able to lead healthy and fulfilling lives. By scheduling an appointment with a reliable Pediatric doctor like Dr. Manvinder, parents can better understand their newborn’s heart health and take necessary steps to solve any heart complications if they exist. It’s essential for parents and healthcare providers to be aware of the possible signs and symptoms of CHDs and to seek prompt evaluation and treatment whenever it is necessary. After understanding CHDs and advocating for comprehensive care for newborns, we can make a positive difference in the lives of newborns and their families affected by these complicated heart conditions.

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Understanding Newborn Heart Conditions: Classification, Identification and Remedies

Old man having chest pain illustration

Understanding Newborn Heart Conditions: Classification, Identification and Remedies

Every parent looks forward to their child’s birth with great anticipation, hoping for a joyful and healthy start. But for other families, the happy news that their newborn has a heart issue might overshadow the significance of this event. There are several heart conditions and abnormalities that can be found in a child’s heart health. Even while it can be unpleasant, knowing about these medical conditions and the treatments that are available will help you provide your child with the best care possible and available. Parents have the option of choosing the best treatment for their young ones which will not only be effective but also promote a quick recover time as well. Here in this blog, we will explore a few common heart problems or abnormalities that doctors often find shortly after the screening of the newborn and offer the best possible treatments for them:

1. Congenital Heart Defects:

Congenital heart defects are structural abnormalities present at birth that affect the heart’s function to beat and pump blood throughout the body. These defects can vary widely in severity, from minor issues that are resolved on their own by natural body healing to complex conditions requiring immediate intervention from professional doctors. Examples include atrial septal defect (ASD), ventricular septal defect (VSD), and tetralogy of Fallot. Treatment options depend on the specific defect but may include medication, catheter-based procedures, or surgery to repair the defect and prepare the tiny heart for a healthy life.

2. Patent Ductus Arteriosus (PDA):

In some newborns, the ductus arteriosus, a blood vessel that connects the pulmonary artery to the aorta, fails to close after birth as it should have been. This condition, known as patent ductus arteriosus (PDA), can lead to breathing difficulties and poor feeding sessions. Treatment may involve medication to help close the ductus arteriosus or, in severe cases, surgery to ligate or close the vessel, making the blood flow normally through the heart and body.

3. Coarctation of the Aorta:

Coarctation of the aorta is a narrowing of the aorta, the main artery carrying oxygen-rich blood from the heart to the body, this is a very important element of the human body. This narrowing can restrict proper blood flow and lead to high blood pressure and heart failure in severe cases. Treatment typically involves surgery to repair the narrowed portion of the aorta and restore normal blood flow for a long life with a healthy heart.

4. Transposition of the Great Arteries (TGA):

Transposition of the great arteries (TGA) is a condition where the positions of the pulmonary artery and the aorta are switched. This leads to oxygen-poor blood circulating through the body, causing cyanosis (blueness of the skin) and other health complications which are deemed to be life-threatening. Treatment often involves surgery shortly after birth to correct the abnormal blood flow and ensure oxygen-rich blood reaches the body’s tissues for a healthy and oxygenated body.

5. Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome (HLHS):

Hypoplastic left heart syndrome (HLHS) is a complex congenital heart defect where the left side of the heart is underdeveloped and the right side is normally developed. This condition requires a series of surgeries from a top doctor, known as the Norwood procedure, the Glenn procedure, and the Fontan procedure, to reroute blood flow and improve heart function. In some cases, a heart transplant may be necessary if the complications are on the rise.

6. Remedies and Treatment Options:

The treatment approach for childhood heart conditions depends on various factors, including the specific diagnosis, the severity of the health condition, and the child’s overall health. In many cases, early intervention is crucial for improving outcomes and minimizing complications. Treatment options may include:

•             Medications: Certain medications may be prescribed to help manage symptoms, improve heart function, or prevent complications.

•             Catheter-based Procedures: Minimally invasive procedures, such as balloon angioplasty or catheter-based valve repair, may be performed to correct certain heart defects.

•             Surgery: In more complicated cases, open-heart surgery may be necessary to repair structural abnormalities or improve heart function. Surgical techniques continue to advance, offering improved outcomes and shorter recovery times.

•             Cardiac Rehabilitation: Following surgery or other interventions, cardiac rehabilitation programs may be recommended to help children recover and regain strength.

It’s essential for parents to work closely with a team of healthcare professionals, including pediatric cardiologists, pediatric surgeons, and other specialists, to develop a comprehensive treatment plan tailored to their child’s needs for the best treatment and outcome.


While the discovery of a heart condition in a newborn can be frightening, understanding the condition in a better way and knowing the available treatment options is key to providing the best care for your child which is the primary requirement for every parent. With advances in medical technology and expertise, many childhood heart conditions can be effectively managed or corrected, allowing children to lead healthy and fulfilling lives in the future. By staying alert, informed, proactive, and engaged in their child’s care, parents can help navigate the journey of childhood heart health with confidence and optimism.

If you have any concerns or questions about your child’s heart health, don’t hesitate to reach out to a certified pediatric cardiologist like Dr. Manvinder who is the Director and Head of the Department of Pediatric Cardiology at Fortis Memorial Research Institute, Gurgaon or healthcare provider for expert guidance and professional support. Together, we can ensure that every child has an equal opportunity to thrive and flourish, regardless of any challenges they may face in this world.

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Nurturing Young Hearts: Practical Tips for Parents from Dr. Manvinder

Happy girl hugging big red heart on white background illustration

Young tiny hearts beat with the rhythm of life and are very fragile in nature proving to be harmful if not identified and treated at the earliest stage. As a pediatric cardiologist at NanheDil, The Child Heart Centre, Dr. Manvinder holds enormous experience and has witnessed the importance of maintaining children’s heart health firsthand. He is open to sharing his expert knowledge with the world to help parents develop a healthy heart for their adorable young ones, here are some useful tips for parents to consider during the journey of parenthood:

1. Encourage Healthy Eating Habits:

The parents can play the main role in encouraging heart-healthy eating habits at a young age for their kids. Promotion of a balanced diet of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean proteins should also be practised for the children. For example, replacing sweet treats with fresh fruits like apple slices and peanut butter or carrot sticks with hummus will make a huge difference in the long run. Through feeding nutritious meals and snacks to young ones, parents ensure that they get a lifetime habit of good heart health and overall well-being.

2. Stay Active Together:

The importance of regular physical activity to be in good health in relation to a good heart is evident. Parents can become role models by participating in physical exercises together with their children. Whether it’s going on relaxing walks, adventures while riding bikes, or playing outdoor sports as a family unit, being active with your family not only strengthens cardiovascular integrity but also builds permanent family ties. When parents include regular exercise in family life and make it a fun activity, they pass on healthy habits that their children will maintain throughout their long lives thereby having good heart health and a healthy mind as well.

3. Prioritize Quality Sleep:

Good sleep is vital to heart health and the overall health of individuals. A systematic approach to bedtime is necessary to ensure that children receive adequate sleep every night. By avoiding the use of technological devices for half an hour before bed while substituting such activities with easier, and relaxing activities like reading and gentle stretching, parents may provide a relaxing bedtime atmosphere for their children for a healthy sleep. Sleep hygiene is important when it comes to ensuring that parents help their children recharge their energy and support their heart’s health hand in hand.

4. Be Mindful of Stress:

Stress management is crucial, especially at the moment when a child is very young. Parents can show children good coping habits and examples to help them deal with stress by breathing properly or having a mindfulness mindset to find a solution rather than overthinking on the problem. There are other ways of managing stress, such as building an atmosphere for children, in which they freely vocalize their feelings and share their emotions without hiding any details. Parents should demonstrate effective coping mechanisms and express sympathy in times of conflict, enabling their children to create healthy methods for stress management in the future.

5. Know the Warning Signs:

Parents have to be made aware of the possible signs of heart problems in children. While heart conditions are unfamiliar among children, there are some symptoms such as complained shoulder and chest pain which should never be ignored, but it is very important not to overlook heart conditions even among children that are layered with chest pain, fainting, breathlessness or palpitations. Fortunately, parents who would soon get to know any symptoms that are unfavourable to them should immediately seek medical intervention to preserve their child’s heart health. Effective vigilance and proper proactivity on the children’s health could allow the parents to prevent heart diseases in their children and promote healthy hearts for a long life.

6. Regular Check-ups are Key:

Regular check-ups with a pediatrician are vital for monitoring children’s heart health at regular interventions. Pediatricians can perform routine screenings and evaluations to detect any potential issues early on for early and effective treatment. Parents should schedule regular appointments and communicate any concerns or family history of heart disease to their pediatrician to promote transparency. By staying proactive about their children’s health, parents can ensure that any potential heart issues are addressed promptly and that heart health is optimal.

7. Lead by Example:

As role models, parents have a significant influence on their children’s behaviours and habits. By prioritizing their own heart health through healthy lifestyle choices, parents set a positive example for their children to follow in their teenage and adult lives. Incorporating heart-healthy habits into family routines, such as cooking nutritious meals together or being physically active as a family, reinforces the importance of heart health from an early age and builds a strong family bond that lasts beyond a lifetime in the form of healthy cherished memories.


Remember, nurturing young hearts goes beyond physical health and also includes emotional well-being and overall happiness for the children and the family. By incorporating these simple tips mentioned above into their family’s daily routine, parents can help develop a heart of heart-healthy habits for their children. Every small step towards a healthy lifestyle makes a child’s future healthier and amplifies heart health for children. It is also important to remember to identify early signs of discomfort in the infant’s body, muscles and bones and get immediate medical help regarding the same.

If you ever have more questions or concerns about your child’s heart health, please don’t hesitate to reach out. At NanheDil, The Child Heart Centre, we’re here to support you every step of the way and make your lives healthier for a long life and healthy experience altogether.

Dr Manvinder wishes you and your family continued health and happiness.

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How to Keep Your Child’s Hearth Healthy Before and After Birth?

High blood pressure abstract concept vector illustration. Hypertension disease, blood pressure control, monitor, examination in hospital, tonometer, heart attack, arteria strain abstract metaphor.

Your child’s heart is a precious and delicate treasure for all your family, deserving of the utmost care and attention when required. Dr. Manvinder Singh Sachdev, MD (Pediatrics), FNB (Pediatric Cardiology), is a distinguished pediatric cardiologist and the Director of the Department of Pediatric Cardiology at Fortis Memorial Research Institute in Gurgaon. With his wealth of knowledge and experience, Dr. Sachdev is committed to safeguarding and enhancing the heart health of children. In this comprehensive guide, we will explore detailed strategies and insights on how to ensure a healthy child’s heart before and after birth, as well as the necessary steps to take if any heart complications are detected post-birth.

Before Birth: Prenatal Heart Health

Prenatal heart health is the foundation upon which a child’s cardiovascular well-being is built. Dr. Sachdev firmly believes that a proactive approach to prenatal care can significantly impact the heart health of the developing fetus.

1. Prenatal Care: Prenatal care is the initial step in the journey to a healthy heart before birth. Dr. Sachdev emphasizes that regular check-ups during pregnancy are paramount. Ideally, prenatal care should begin as soon as pregnancy is confirmed. Specialized tests, such as fetal echocardiography, can detect congenital heart defects early on, enabling timely interventions and personalized care plans.

2. Genetic Counselling: For families with a history of heart problems or genetic predispositions, genetic counselling becomes crucial. Dr. Sachdev’s expertise in pediatric cardiology allows him to provide comprehensive guidance, enabling informed family planning decisions and managing potential hereditary heart issues.

3. Maternal Health: A mother’s lifestyle choices during pregnancy can significantly impact fetal heart development. Dr. Sachdev underscores the importance of expectant mothers adopting a well-rounded approach to prenatal care. This includes maintaining a balanced diet rich in essential nutrients, engaging in safe physical activity, and avoiding harmful substances like tobacco and alcohol. Stress management techniques can also positively impact fetal heart development.

During Birth: Ensuring a Safe and Healthy Arrival

Dr. Sachdev’s commitment to heart health extends to ensuring a safe delivery process for newborns.

1. Skilled Delivery Team: Dr. Sachdev’s experience and proficiency enable him to collaborate effectively with delivery teams. This ensures that any heart-related issues that may arise during childbirth are addressed promptly and with precision.

2. Immediate Evaluation: Newborns occasionally require immediate evaluation and intervention for congenital heart defects. Dr. Sachdev’s adeptness in pediatric cardiology ensures timely assessments. This facilitates necessary interventions to support the child’s heart health right from the start.

After Birth: Nurturing a Healthy Heart

Once a child enters the world, the journey of nurturing a healthy heart continues. Ways to check and keep a healthy child’s heart can be: –

1. Early Detection: Regular pediatric check-ups are the cornerstone of maintaining a healthy heart after birth. Dr. Sachdev’s specialized department at Fortis Memorial Research Institute excels in the detection and management of heart conditions in infants and children. Routine monitoring is essential to ensure any potential issues are identified and addressed promptly.

2. Vaccinations: Certain infections, such as rheumatic fever, can lead to heart problems if left untreated. Dr. Sachdev advocates for adhering to the recommended vaccination schedule. Vaccines can help prevent these infections, reducing the risk of heart-related complications.

3. Healthy Lifestyle: Promoting a heart-healthy lifestyle from an early age is instrumental in preventing heart disease later in life. Dr. Sachdev encourages parents to foster an environment that encourages a balanced diet, regular physical activity, and a smoke-free atmosphere.

If Heart Complications Are Detected After Birth, Do Not Worry.

In some cases where heart complications are detected post-birth, parents should never panic but rather follow these steps:

1. Consultation with a Pediatric Cardiologist: Seek immediate consultation with a pediatric cardiologist like Dr. Sachdev, who can conduct a thorough evaluation, including imaging tests and diagnostic procedures, to assess the nature and severity of the heart condition.

2. Treatment Plan: Based on the diagnosis, the pediatric cardiologist will develop a customized treatment plan. This may include medications, cardiac catheterization procedures, or surgical interventions, depending on the specific condition of the diagnosed child.

3. Family Education: Dr. Sachdev believes in empowering families with information about the heart condition, treatment options, and long-term care requirements. It’s crucial for parents to understand the condition and actively participate in their child’s care.

4. Supportive Care: In many cases, ongoing care and regular follow-ups are necessary. Dr. Sachdev and his team provide comprehensive support to families, including addressing any concerns and monitoring the child’s progress.

It is very hard for a parent to understand and face the fact that their newborn has innate heart complications. During these rough times, parents should never drop hope and be persistent toward their family’s collective goal of eliminating the problem from the root. Modern medical advancements will definitely help in eradicating newborn heart complications. Parents should always and only follow the right procedure which is prescribed by an expert doctor in this field like Dr. Sachdev, to give their newborn a healthy and heart-wealthy future.

Dr. Manvinder Singh Sachdev’s dedication to safeguarding pediatric heart health is marked by his comprehensive approach and unwavering commitment to excellence. With his extensive training, including a National Board Pediatric Cardiology fellowship and invaluable experience in esteemed institutions, he stands as a beacon of hope for families seeking to ensure their child’s heart remains healthy. By following Dr. Sachdev’s guidance, parents and caregivers can proactively take measures to protect their child’s heart. In cases where heart complications are detected, timely intervention and expert care can significantly improve outcomes, offering children the opportunity for a vibrant and thriving future. Dr. Sachdev’s holistic approach ensures that every child has the best chance for a healthy heart, from prenatal care to birth and beyond.

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What is a Blue Baby Syndrome? – Causes, Symptoms, and Treatment

Infant Methemoglobinemia is popularly known as the blue baby syndrome, wherein the baby appears to be blue as the blood is unable to carry enough oxygen because of less hemoglobin in the blood. Hemoglobin, an essential protein for the blood that helps the blood carry necessary oxygen, is sometimes found in reduced quantities in the baby’s blood. This results in the blood’s inability to carry oxygen. That is why the baby’s skin turns blue because of the absence of oxygen-rich blood. This condition is termed the blue baby syndrome, which is very common in developing countries and rural areas. If you live around Delhi-NCR, you must consult a good pediatric cardiologist in Gurgaon if anything like this occurs.

What are the Reasons for Blue Baby Syndrome?
In a normal human body, the blood goes into the lungs to get oxygen, which is distributed in every part of the body. However, with certain heart defects and a reduced hemoglobin level, the blood is deprived of enough oxygen to send to the cells, tissues, and organs. Such a condition causes the blue skin in the baby, which means the blood in the baby is oxygen-deprived. Some other causes of Infant Methemoglobinemia or Blue Baby Syndrome are-

1. Tetralogy of Fallot– Tetralogy of Fallot or TOF is a congenital heart defect that roughly means four types of heart defects that causes oxygen-poor blood to flow in the baby’s body due to reduced blood flow. The four defects are:
· A hole between the ventricles.
· Displacement of the aorta.
· An increased thickness in the wall of the right ventricle.
· A blockage in the valve joining the right ventricle and the pulmonary arteries.
You must go for regular check-ups at an expert cardiologist in Gurgaon to treat such a heart condition.

2. Methemoglobinemia- This is a heart condition in babies under 6 months old wherein an excessive amount of methemoglobin is produced. The nitrate in the body gets converted to nitrite and mixed with the blood to form methemoglobin. Methemoglobin is a form of haemoglobin that cannot release oxygen to the cells, which causes the babies to turn blue. Consulting the best pediatric cardiologist in Gurgaon at the earliest can help treat the condition well.

3. Gestational Diabetes– This type of diabetes develops during the gestational period because of uncontrolled blood sugar in pregnancy.

Other causes of the blue baby syndrome include other heart defects like Pulmonary atresia, Tricuspid atresia, Pulmonary hypertension, Truncus arteriosus, transpositional arteries, Hypoplastic left heart syndrome, Hypoplastic left heart syndrome, etc.

Signs of Blue Baby Syndrome
Identifying a blue baby syndrome or Infant Methemoglobinemia is easy as the most common sign of such a heart condition is the hands, feet and the area around the mouth getting a bluish tinge. The most common symptom of blue baby syndrome is a blue discolouration of the skin around the mouth, hands, and feet. This condition is called cyanosis, which means

the baby’s blood lacks enough oxygen. If your baby shows one or more of the following signs, you must take them to a good pediatric cardiologist in Gurgaon if you live nearby.
Some of the other symptoms of Blue Baby Syndrome are-
. Tiredness
· Not being able to feed properly
· Unstable temperament issue
· Poor weight gain
· Poor development
· Deformity of fingers and toes.
· Breathing issues and shortness of breath.
· Nausea and vomiting
· Diarrhoea 
· Sudden fainting
· Abnormality is saliva production.
· Seizures

Diagnosis Procedures
When a doctor receives a complaint that an infant is going through one or more of the symptoms mentioned above, they first note down their medical history, followed by physical examinations. A Paediatrician conducts various tests to confirm the reason behind such a health condition. The tests that are performed on the baby are-
· Several blood tests are to see the functioning of the heart.
. An X-ray of the chest to understand the condition of the lungs and the heart.
. Electrocardiogram to examine the electrical activities of the baby’s heart.
. Echocardiogram to further check if there is any deformity in the heart.
· A pulse oximetry is to determine the oxygen saturation in the blood.

After performing all these tests, doctors can determine if the baby is suffering from Infant Methemoglobinemia and the reasons behind it. After that, the baby is referred to the best pediatric cardiologist in Gurgaon or any other city to have the treatment started.

Treatment for Blue Baby Syndrome

Expert cardiologists follow two types of treatment procedures. These are-

1. Surgical Way of Treating Blue Baby Syndrome –
In case the reason is a congenital heart defect, a surgical process is recommended. The doctors suggest an Intra-Cardiac Corrective repair of tetralogy to repair of the ventricular septal deformity. This will help the blood flow from the left ventricle to the aorta without any restrictions. This surgical procedure also fixes the thickened pulmonary valve and enlarges the pulmonary arteries to increase the blood flow to the lungs.

2. Medicinal Way of Treating Blue Baby Syndrome –
The medical way is to take an intravenous Methylene Blue to treat the blue baby syndrome and take preventive measures like avoiding consuming contaminated water from wells or ponds.

For treating severe blue baby syndrome, an experienced pediatric cardiologist is recommended. Dr Manvinder Singh Sachdev has been practising for years and has mastered the field of pediatric cardiology. You know where to go if you want a cardiologist for your baby with country-wide popularity.

Blue baby syndrome is a rare health condition that has a moderate prognosis. If untreated, it may cause many other complications and even loss of life.