February is American Heart Month, a time when the value of expert cardiac care is in the spotlight here in Central Florida. One area that deserves special attention is the diagnosis and treatment of congenital heart disease, which is a more prevalent condition than most people may realize.
Congenital heart disease (CHD) refers to a cardiac problem that exists from birth, and early diagnosis – often in the fetal stage – is very important. CHD covers a range of conditions including heart valve defects and cardiovascular abnormalities, and about eight out of 1,000 newborns have a form of it. What’s more, almost 30 percent of infant deaths from birth defects are due to CHD. When tests are positive for a fetal heart defect, pediatric heart surgeons stand by at birth to provide any needed medical help. And, thanks to recent advances in early diagnosis and treatment, many children can and do live healthy lives into adulthood. But CHD is a lifelong condition that requires regular monitoring.
David Briston, MD, MS, is a board-certified pediatric cardiologist with AdventHealth Medical Group and the AdventHealth Cardiovascular Institute in Orlando. He is one of only a few dozen cardiologists in the entire country to have completed the two-year fellowship in adult congenital heart disease and the only such physician here in Florida.
To learn more and to make an appointment, visit www.AdventHealthMedicalGroup.com for a customized search by zip code or call 407-988-2226. All of our physicians are part of the AdventHealth Care Network.