This past week marked the annual Congenital Heart Defect Awareness Week, raising awareness and educating the general public about congenital heart defects (CHDs), childhood infections, heart disease, and stroke. Any condition or defect that is “congenital” is a condition or defect existing at birth. Although CHD is often referred to as congenital heart disease, it is not an accurate description, as it is, in fact, an abnormality – thus, a defect. A congenital heart defect occurs due to abnormal development of the heart itself or heart blood vessels prior to birth. CHD is a condition that persists throughout a person’s life. It is the most common birth defect in the United States, happening in 1 in 100 births annually. The efforts of the Congenital Heart Defect Awareness Week aim to teach the public about this condition and raise funds to support further CHD research that could improve the lives of patients with CHD.


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