Chronicle Live - Washington and Sunderland MP backs heart defect campaign

Published 10th September 2012

A NORTH East MP is backing a new campaign which seeks to increase early diagnosis
of children’s heart conditions, after meeting with parents of affected children in
Parliament.

Congenital heart disease is the most common birth defect, affecting more than 5,000
children in the UK each year.

Despite the seriousness of the condition, only around a third are detected before birth,
and delays in detection cause uncertainly, distress, physical harm and, in the worst cases,
death.

The Think HEART campaign, launched by national charity the Children’s Heart
Federation, aims to inform parents of the warning signs of a possible heart condition and
give them the confidence to raise their concerns with their doctor.

Washington and Sunderland West MP Sharon Hodgson said: “The Think HEART campaign is an
important cause and I am delighted to be able to help in raising awareness of it.

“Increasing early detection and making sure children with heart problems get the correct
diagnosis much sooner will help save lives and reduce stress and suffering for children
and families.”

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