Get answers to your heart disease prevention questions.
Right-to-left cardiac shunt; Right-to-left circulatory shunt
Avoid using alcohol and drugs during pregnancy. Women who are (or think they might be) pregnant should notify their doctor before receiving prescriptions for medications. Women with manic-depressive disorder should consult their health care provider about the risks and benefits of various treatments for this condition during pregnancy.
The immune status for rubella should be evaluated early in the pregnancy. If the mother is not immune she must avoid any possible exposure to rubella and should be immunized immediately after delivery. Genetic counseling may be helpful if there is a family history of genetic disorders associated with congenital heart disease.
Some inherited factors may play a role in congenital heart disease. It is rare, but not impossible for more than one child in a family to have a congenital heart defect. Talk to your health care provider about screening.
Webb GD, Smallhorn JF, Therrien J, Redington AN. Congenital heart disease. In: Zipes DP, Libby P, Bonow RO, eds. Braunwald's Heart Disease: A Textbook of Cardiovascular Medicine, 8th ed. St. Louis, Mo; WB Saunders; 2007:chap 61.
Cyanotic congenital heart disease: Evaluation of the critically ill neonate with cyanosis and respiratory distress. In: Kliegman RM, Behrman RE, Jenson HB, Stanton BF, eds. Nelson Textbook of Pediatrics. 18th ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Saunders Elsevier;2007:chap 429.
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