Sacred Heart celebrates “Heart Health Awareness Month” with red hats for newborns

Sacred Heart celebrates “Heart Health Awareness Month” with red hats for newborns

The month of February is Heart Health Awareness Month and Sacred Heart Medical Center in Spokane is joining hospitals across the nation in raising awareness for heart health. The week of February puts specific focus on congenital heart defects, and the hospital is handing out specially knitted red hats to newborn babies to bring awareness to the importance of screening.

“The sooner we can detect a congenital heart disease, the better we can treat it,” said Beth Dullanty Connors, the hospital’s Congenital Cardiac Coordinator.

Since 2015 she says the state of Washington has required newborns to be screened, and its led to a 33 percent decline in infant death from congenital heart defects.

“We’ve made great progress,” she said.

Despite that, heart disease remains the leading killer of American’s and congenital heart defects are the most dangerous of all birth defects. Eight babies in every thousand will be born with a heart defect and more than 1.3 million Americans have some form of congenital heart defect.

But with medical advances happening all the time, care is the best its ever been.

“There is a lot of hope, there are a lot of new treatments and surgeries and our children can grow up to live happy successful lives,” said Dullanty Connors. “90 percent of children with congenital heart defects will survive to adulthood, but recent studies show only 10 percent of adults with congenital heart defects get the care they need.”

For more information on heart health click here to go the American Heart Association website.