Saturday, 3 May 2014

Appeal to parents to check for early signs of children’s heart conditions

Myself, Anne Keatley-Clarke, Chief Executive of CHF and CHF parent volunteer
Alex Smith who has a daughter with a congenital heart condition.

The Children’s Heart Federation are calling on parents across Haslingden and Hyndburn to check for warning signs of possible heart problems in babies and follow life-saving guidance from the UK’s leading children’s heart charity.

This campaign ‘Think HEART’, is an important campaign by the Children’s Heart Federation to increase the early diagnosis of children’s heart conditions.

Think HEART provides parents with five easy signs to help to spot a heart problem:
H – Heart Rate (Is their heart rate too fast or too slow. Normal rate is between 100 to 160 beats per minute)

E – Energy (Are they sleepy, quiet and too tired to feed)

A – Appearance (Is your baby a pale, waxy, dusky, blue or grey colour)

R – Respiration (Are they breathing too fast or too slow. Normal rate is between 40 to 60 breaths per minute)
T – Temperature (Are they cold to touch – particularly their hands and feet)
I am also backing the Children’s Heart Federation’s campaign for all babies to be tested for heart conditions at birth to help save lives. Pulse Oximetry is a quick, painless and cheap test that measures oxygen levels in blood and detects over 90% of life threatening heart defects in newborns.

Every year, around 5,000 babies are born with Congenital Heart Disease, however only a third are detected before birth, meaning babies with potentially lethal but treatable conditions leave hospital without being diagnosed. Delays in diagnosis cause distress, physical harm and can be life-risking.

This is why I’m backing the Children’s Heart Federation’s campaign to get all babies tested for heart conditions at birth and I encourage parents across [area] to look out for the charity’s five Think HEART signs.

Anne Keatley-Clarke, Chief Executive of CHF has said: “We are grateful for Graham's support for increasing the early detection of heart conditions in babies. Having all babies tested at birth will help save lives and we hope our Think HEART campaign will help more parents across [area] spot the early signs of heart conditions so if needed, children can receive life-saving treatment early."

To get involved with the Think HEART campaign visit www.chfed.org.uk/thinkheart

Ends

Notes:

1. The Children’s Heart Federation (CHF) is the UK’s leading children’s heart charity and an umbrella organisation for 21 member groups which support heart children and their families. CHF supports families through its information service, small grants programme, peer support events and provision of equipment. The charity also lobbies for changes to the health, social care and education systems for the benefit of heart families (see www.chfed.org.uk).