Parents keep strict tabs; follow-up visits for babies critical to avoid lasting damage to heart, advises Dr Radhakrishnan, renowned paediatric cardiologist and senior consultant at RAK Hospital
While many critical congenital heart defects are screened at birth, certain cardiac issues manifest at a later stage, which need to be addressed at the earliest
December 27, 2016; Ras Al Khaimah, UAE: Parents of new-borns and toddlers should keep a watchful eye on their babies’ cardiac health, and continue with regular heart check-up, particularly in the case of medical history of the heart disease, insists Dr Radhakrishnan, renowned paediatric cardiologist and a visiting consultant at RAK Hospital. Signs such as poor weight gain, difficulty in feeding, increased sweating, recurrent chest and respiratory infection, frequent pneumonia and a bluish tint on lips, tongue and nails in small children are all manifestation of a potential heart defect. This deserves to be thoroughly examined in order to avoid further aggravation of the health problem, warns Dr Radhakrishnan, who will be visiting RAK Hospital in Ras Al Khaimah on December 31, 2016.
“It’s important to have regular prenatal checks, heart screenings for the infants and tests for children especially if you notice any symptoms which may indicate a problem. Early detection and treatment can save your child from possible complications later which may include heart failure, heart infections, pulmonary hypertension (high blood pressure in the arteries of the lungs), stroke etc.,” warns Dr Radhakrishnan,, adding, “While many critical congenital heart defects are screened at birth in the UAE, at times certain cardiac issues manifest at a later stage, which need to be addressed at the earliest. There are times when parents do not pay attention to certain abnormalities, such as fast heart beat or breathlessness in their children, but they could possibly be signs of a severe problem, and as such should raise red flag.”
Studies have revealed that congenital heart disorder cases are more complicated in this region, since many babies are born in consanguineous marriages (marriage between two individuals who are related as second cousins or closer), resulting in a higher probability of genetic disorders. However, other than the hereditary factor, there are few known causes of the heart defects that babies are born with, making it all the more imperative for parents to stay on guard, and observe their children’s physical and learning growth closely, the doctor further advised.
Dr Raza Siddiqui, CEO Arabian Healthcare Group and Executive Director of RAK Hospital, added: “A child is the world to his/her parents, and at RAK Hospital we understand that. This is why, we are constantly trying to bring in the best of the world’s expertise to this region and to our hospital for paediatric care. We have been extremely fortunate to be associated with Dr Radhakrishnan, who has earned respect for his work across the globe. We have collaborated with a number of world-class medical professionals who are on our visiting faculty board, providing expert care, not just to the residents of the UAE, but other neighbouring countries as well”.
A senior consultant at RAK Hospital, Dr Radhakrishnan has more than 32 years of experience in paediatric cardiology, with footprints in UAE, South Asia and the UK and several awards and orations to his name. An active member of global paediatric cardiologist community, he has also authored more than 500 articles in Indexed Journals, hundreds of abstracts and over 20 chapters in books.