MAJOR PROGRESS OVER THE LAST DECADE
Until recently, it was estimated that 1 in 4 children with a serious heart disease would not reach adulthood.
However, in recent years, medicine has significantly progressed. Indeed, for the diagnosis of the defect itself, it is no longer necessary, for example, to introduce probes into the heart and use X-rays to detect a malformation. With the help of ultrasound imaging (echocardiogram), it is now possible in more than 95% of cases to make an exact diagnosis.
Treatment has also considerably improved since about 40% of heart defects can now be treated without surgery.
One of the methods of treatment used, interventional catheterization, is practised by introducing instruments into the veins and arteries that dilate, obstruct or sever abnormal structures. Cardiac surgery, for its part, makes it possible to operate on newborns and infants.
In Quebec, more than 400 heart surgeries are performed annually, and the success rate is 97%.
Over time, the number of children undergoing heart surgery has increased and many of them have become adults. Nevertheless, overall, the diagnosis of a heart disease in a child carries a serious prognosis. For the most part, children with heart disease, even those who undergo surgery, will require medical monitoring for the rest of their lives. Over the years, En Cœur continues to honour its mission by ensuring that no child with heart disease is left to fend for themselves.
ADDITIONAL INFORMATION ON THE DISEASE
Much appreciated by parents, but also by the various stakeholders in the hospital environment, information leaflets on certain aspects of pediatric cardiology (diseases and drugs) are distributed by En Cœur. These leaflets are available in the cardiology departments of the various hospitals to be given to the families concerned. This is one of the countless services offered by En Cœur.