Monday, February 1, 2010

Happy Heart Month!

Each year brings something new to our lives and this year is no different for Brian and I.  This year, February has taken on a whole new meaning and will forever more.  It is National Heart Awareness month, with specific focus on Feb 7-14 for obvious reasons. 

I was on another family's blog and found these facts regarding Congenital Heart Defects, so I thought I would share as some of these are absolutely staggering:

  • Congenital heart defects are America's and every country's #1 birth defect; nearly one of every 100 babies is born with a CHD
  • CHDs are the #1 cause of birth defect related deaths
  • CHDs are the leading cause of all infant deaths in the US
  • Each year approximately 40,000 babies are born in the US with a CHD, thousands will not reach their first birthday and thousands more die before they reach adulthood
  • Almost half of all children and adults with complex CHDs have neurological and developmental disabilities
  • There are an estimated 2,000,000 CHD survivors in the US
  • For the first time, more than 50% of the CHD survivors are adults
  • 91,000 life years are lost each year in the US due to CHDs
  • The cost for inpatient surgeries to repair CHDs exceeds $2.2 billon per year
  • More than 50% of all children born with a CHD will require at least one invasive surgery in their lifetime
  • There are more than 40 different types of CHDs, little is known about the cause of most of them and there is not prevention or cure to any of them
  • In the US, twice as many children die from CHDs each year than from all forms of childhood cancer combined, yet funding for pediatric cancer research is five times higher than funding for CHDs
Whew...that is a lot of information to digest and unfortunately most of it is sad.  That being said, all of the numbers are looking more positive as time goes on and technology keeps improving.  There's not a whole lot of history for patients with HLHS as adults because the oldest survivor is only 20 and in college right now. 

Not a whole lot of updates on the personal front.  Daddy worked on the nursery a lot this weekend and it's looking great.  We have another checkup on the 10th where we will hopefully get a tour of the NICU, Ronald McDonald House and Dr. Ilbawi's post-op unit.  That should all prove to be somewhat useful and comforting, albeit a little depressing.  Either way, I like to have all my ducks in a row and this is no different.  Olivia continues to grow and stretch her way in any direction she pleases, but I'm sure I'll miss some if not all of these movements when she's been evicted.  All in all, keep an eye out this month, I think I'll be updating more frequently just due to the correlation to February and Hearts.

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