(1) ‘Every defect of the heart is very serious and Fatal’. In reality, many such conditions are very simple and not serious. A cold can tolerate it easily.
(2) ‘Every hole in the wall of the heart gets closed as the child grows older.’ In reality, many such holes do not get closed spontaneously. The heart gets weak and pressure in the lungs increases due to it. It can be fatal at times if neglected.
(3) ‘Heart surgery can be performed only after a child has attained a certain age’. In reality, surgery or procedure is possible even on a one day old infant. For some illnesses it is very essential to perform surgery within certain days or months of a child’s birth and they are life saving too. If this is not done in time, the situation does not remain conducive for surgery at a later stage. Unoperated child is put in a miserable condition and dies between 10-35 years of age.
(4) ‘A surgery can be performed only after a child gains 10 kg of weight.’ Thousands of children in Gujarat and India have died because of this absolutely false notion.
If necessary, Surgery can also be performed on a child weighing only 2 kg.
(5) ‘Heart surgery of a newborn child is very serious and chances of success are very little.’ Because of the shill of surgeons, availability of best equipment and much improved postoperative car, in current era pediatric heart surgery is not as complicated as it used to be before. Success achieved in most of the surgeries ranges between 90-98%.
(6) ‘The surgery is very expensive; it is easier to have another child in comparison to it’. This tragic belief born out of poverty and ignorant state of mind is redundant in the present era. Such surgery for the children of underprivileged families is done free of cost or with a very nominal expense in many hospitals run by government and trusts in India.
This is why, when a child has symptoms as mentioned in this chapter or if a ‘murmur’ is heard, the family should approach the pediatrician immediately. In case of the slightest element of doubt, echocardiography should be performed and consultation of cardiologist be obtained.
If we will be able to remove the above mentioned wrong notions from our society, we will be able to save many lives of children.