Usman Rashid, Ahmad U Qureshi, Syed N Hyder, Masood Sadiq
Department of Pediatric Cardiology, The Children's Hospital and Institute of Child Health, Lahore, Pakistan
Objective: To determine the delay in diagnosis of various types of congenital heart defects in children and factors associated with such delay.
Patients and Methods: For this observational study, 354 patients having congenital heart disease (CHD) presenting for the first time to the Department of Cardiology, Children's Hospital, Lahore, Pakistan, between January 1, 2015 and June 30, 2015, were enrolled after obtaining informed verbal consent from the guardian of each child. Demographical profile and various factors under observation were recorded.
Results: Among the 354 enrolled children (M: F 1.7:1) with age ranging from 1 to 176 months (median 24 months), 301 (85.1%) had delayed diagnosis of CHD (mainly acyanotic 65.3%), with median delay (8 months). Main factors for delay were delayed first consultation to a doctor (37.2%) and delayed diagnosis by a health professional (22.5%). Other factors included delayed referral to a tertiary care hospital (13.3%), social taboos (13.0%), and financial constraints (12.3%). Most children were delivered outside hospital settings (88.7%). Children with siblings less than two (40%) were less delayed than those having two or more siblings (60%, P < 0.001).
Conclusion: Diagnosis of congenital heart defect was delayed in majority of patients. Multiple factors such as lack of adequately trained health system and socioeconomic constraints were responsible for the delay. There is a need to develop an efficient referral system and improve public awareness in developing countries for early diagnosis and management of such children.
107-2- C-1 Township Lahore
Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None
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