MP Jim Fitzpatrick in call for more heart diagnoses to save babies’ lives
More early diagnosis of children’s heart conditions is being called for by MP Jim Fitzpatrick after learning that one-in-three defects go unnoticed at birth.
The Poplar & Limehouse MP is backing a national campaign launched this week to increase diagnoses of Congenital Heart Disease after meeting a mother whose baby’s condition went undiagnosed for two years.
“We must increase early detection and make sure children with heart problems get the correct diagnosis sooner,” he said. “I’m fully behind the campaign that will save lives and reduce suffering.”
Congenital Heart Disease is the most common birth defect, affecting 5,000 children in the UK each year, but only a third are detected before birth, he was told.
Alex Smith, mum of Georgina who was not diagnosed at birth, said: “It was stressful having a sick child, knowing there was something wrong with her—but not knowing for two years that it was her heart.
“The early days of Georgina’s life would have been so different for us if we had known what was really wrong with her.”
The ‘Think Heart’ campaign launched by the Children’s Heart Federation charity aims to show parents the warning signs of a possible heart condition and give them confidence to raise concerns about their children with their doctor or a health professional.