World heart defect awareness day

Today, the 14th of February is the day of hearts, at one end of the spectrum, hearts meeting, offering each other with flowers, chocolates, teddy bears and bouquet of roses and what not. On the other end, the aspect of this day that we are interested in is the “heart defect day”, where people are made aware of the physiological defects of the heart, and before you ask, NO it does not include heartbreak.

The heart defects are as deadly as they sound, it affects the blood circulation, oxygen carrying efficiency and thus your overall organ health. Some of the major heart defects are ventricular septum defect, Atrial septum defect, atrial valve stenosis, and atrial valve regurgitation. The septum defects are commonly known as a “hole in your heart”, where the oxygenated blood mixes with the carbonated blood due to a hole present in the wall that separates the two, causing a reduced efficiency of the circulatory system. In the case of stenosis/regurgitation, the valve present between the upper chamber(atria) and the lower chamber(ventricle) of the heart does not close to form a water-tight seal, causing the blood to move to the other chamber of the heart in an unwanted fashion. In the case or stenosis, the inflow of atrial blood trickles down to the ventricles with less pressure than expected, in the case of regurgitation, blood spews out of the ventricles when the ventricle is trying to pump it into the arteries.

These defects are either by birth or are caused due to fatiguing of the muscles that are responsible for their proper functioning. If these problems go undetected, they can cause havoc and blow to a proportion beyond the point of no return. Which is why it is a must to screen all elderly people and new-born babies for any heart defect, at regular intervals of time. Stay safe, stay happy.

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