American Heart Month: Understanding cardiogenic shock and congenital heart failure

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(ABC 6 News) – According to Mayo Clinic, 50,000 people in the United States will be impacted by cardiogenic shock. A condition where the heart is too weak to pump blood and oxygen to the brain and organs. If not treated, it could be fatal.

Cardiogenic shock can happen from several factors including a severe heart attack, inflammation, or heart failure. Rapid breathing, a loss of consciousness, and a drop in blood pressure are all symptoms of the condition. Many who do have this need a device to pump blood in their body. That device is placed in the groin or shoulder.

“It basically pulls blood out of the ventricle and pushes it through the aorta,” explained Dr. Parag Patel, a cardiologist at Mayo Clinic.

The aorta is the main artery in the heart that carries blood from the heart to the rest of your body. If the heart is too damaged, you may need a transplant. There are cases in which medicine can slowly re-strengthen the heart. Doctors say the quicker you catch it, the easier it can be treated.

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Another condition people need to be aware of is congenital heart failure. Mayo Clinic says there are 40,000 babies born in the United States with the disorder every year. It is also a disease that can cause heart issues later in life.

It is something you are born with and is the most commonly diagnosed disorder in newborns worldwide. Essentially, it’s an abnormality in the heart structure. It can change the way blood flows to the heart and can be life-threatening without intervention or surgery.

Symptoms include shortness of breath and an irregular heartbeat. It can also create a new set of risks if the person becomes pregnant later on in life. As Dr. Katia Bravo, a cardiologist at Mayo Clinic explains:

“All of these symptoms can actually trigger much more consequences in the older congenital heart disease population.

“Understanding that pregnancy can potentially lead to volume overload, maybe some rhythm problems.”

One simple way to see if your child could have it is during their yearly physical. In some cases, an ultrasound can show the disease while the baby is still in the womb. And in extreme cases, treatment might be advised before the baby is even born.

If your child does have congenital heart disease, they will need care throughout their life. Although not every diagnosis requires active treatment and in some cases, it may not be harmful.