Valley Doctors May Soon Diagnose CHD in Babies Before Birth

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WESLACO – Eight out of every 1,000 babies who are born in the U.S. will have some form of a congenital heart defect.

Doctors in the Rio Grande Valley will soon be able to diagnose babies who have heart defects before being born.

A congenital heart defect is when the baby’s heart has a small hole or it can be more severe. Some babies will require multiple surgeries.

A few hospitals in the state are now starting to use echo-cardiograms so they can see the heart of the fetus.

Local doctors say they’re hoping to have this available in the area soon.

“I hope soon we are going to be able to do it here and make some diagnoses,” says South Texas Health System Dr. Maria Camacho. “I know some centers are already doing some invasive procedures. Some of the defects, small defects can be treated or approached.”

Families are also trying to bring more awareness about CHD to the Valley.

CHANNEL 5 NEWS spoke to Rita Scoggins. Her daughter, Victoria, was born with CHD.

Scoggins says doctors learned so much about the disease since Victoria was born. She encourages adults, like Victoria, who were born with CHD to get checked out.

“Adults who have congenital defects who were probably told that they were repaired and that they were taken care of and everything was good, they need to be checked by an adult congenital cardiologist,” says the mother.

You can find more information about CHD in the Adult Congenital Heart Association’s website and the Children’s Heart Foundation’s website.

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