8:40pm Friday 18th May 2012 in North West
A NEW campaign by the UK’s leading children’s heart charity to step up the early diagnosis of heart conditions for children has been backed by the Shadow Health Secretary, Leigh MP Andy Burnham.
The Children’s Heart Federation has launched the Think HEART campaign which aims to inform parents giving them the confidence to raise concerns about their child with doctors or health experts.
The Think HEART acronym has five easy to remember steps to identify a possible heart problem: H – Heart Rate – Is their heart rate too fast or too slow. Normal rate is between 100 to 160 beats per minute; E – Energy – Are they sleepy, quiet and too tired to feed; A – Appearance – Is your baby a pale, waxy, dusky, blue or grey colour; R – Respiration – Are they breathing too fast or too slow. Normal rate is between 40 to 60 breaths per minute; T – Temperature – Are they cold to touch – particularly their hands and feet.
Mr Burnham said: “I am delighted to support Think HEART. This is a fantastic cause and in a time of limited resources such a campaign which relies on parent power to increase awareness and empower other parents is extremely valuable.
“Together we can make sure that children with congenital heart problems are diagnosed much sooner. This campaign will help save lives and reduce the impacts on children and their families in this area which is why I’m backing the campaign.”
Alex Smith, mum of Georgina, a child with CHD, said: “We really understand the importance of early diagnosis and how our lives would have been so different in the early days of Georgina’s life if we had known what was really wrong with her.
“It was so stressful knowing there was something wrong with her but not knowing for almost two years that it was her heart. Even though as a mother I had bought up my concerns with a number of medical professionals, they didn’t spot the problem as they weren’t fully aware of these conditions.”
Anne Keatley-Clarke Director of CHF commented about the upcoming campaign: “This Children’s Heart Week we are aiming to spread the word about the Think HEART campaign as far and as wide as possible. It’s great to receive the support of Andy Burnham MP for our Think HEART campaign.”