Over 50% of children with heart defects in Romania do not have the chance to live a normal life

What would you do if your child’s heart was just a number in a dramatic statistic that says around 60% of babies born with heart defects don’t have a chance to be operated on and saved?

Approximately 1000-1200 children with heart defects are born in Romania every year. “Internationally, about 8-10 in every thousand live newborns come into the world with congenital heart defects. We estimate that we have a comparable incidence in Romania as well. That’s a big number. But even more worrying is the small number of people who get operated on at the optimal time.

Most children can live a near-normal life after these interventions when they are done on time. If surgery is delayed, the prognosis is not at all encouraging: 3%-5% of deaths in the first week of life and up to 33% of deaths during the neonatal period (0-28 days) are due to undetected or untreated congenital cardiopathies on time,” says Conf.

Dr. Silvia Stoicescu – President of the Association of Neonatology in Romania, Head of the Department of Neonatology, Polizu maternity, Institute for Mother and Child Protection.

Last year, according to the Institute of Medical Statistics, there were 1848 admissions of children suffering from cardiac malformations. About 900 children with malformations require surgery in the first year of life. By comparison, the number of operations carried out in 2008 was about 300.

In a simple calculation, it turns out that over 50% of children with malformations do not have a chance at a normal life. This is because in Romania there is only one cardiovascular center specialized in carrying out these interventions in children – the Institute of Cardiovascular Diseases and Transplant in Targu Mures.

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