February 7-14, 2018: Congenital Heart Defect Awareness Week

WHEREAS, congenital heart defects, conditions present at birth that affect the structure and function of the heart, are among the most common birth defects and the leading cause of birth defect-related deaths in babies; and,

WHEREAS, each year, thousands of babies are born with heart defect. Some congenital heart defects are not diagnosed until months or years after birth, and undiagnosed heart conditions are the cause of many sudden cardiac deaths of young people, especially athletes; and,

WHEREAS, early screening of newborns using pulse oximetry detects some critical congenital heart defects, and early diagnosis is associated with improved health outcomes; and,

WHEREAS, there is much to learn about the causes of and effective treatments for congenital heart disease. It is important for doctors, nurses and parents to recognize the warning signs of congenital heart defects among newborns in order to provide proper treatment as early as possible; and,

WHEREAS, research is ongoing in an effort to determine the causes, signs and treatment options for congenital heart disease. As a result, the causes and symptoms of congenital heart disease are becoming more readily identifiable; and,

WHEREAS, Congenital Heart Defect Awareness Week provides the opportunity for patients and families affected by these conditions to share their experiences and knowledge with the public, so that we may all be made more aware of how congenital heart defects affect our lives; and,

WHEREAS, during this week, we join with the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services, numerous individuals, families, nonprofit organizations, support groups, and health professionals throughout the state to raise awareness of congenital heart defects in Michigan. We encourage people to learn more about congenital heart defects and to show support for continued research and educational services;

NOW, THEREFORE, I, Rick Snyder, governor of Michigan, do hereby proclaim February 7-14, 2018 as Congenital Heart Defect Awareness Week in Michigan.