Bill Wiggin MP called on parents across Herefordshire to check their children for warning signs of possible heart problems and follow life-saving guidance from the UK’s leading children’s heart charity.

The North Herefordshire MP showed his support for ‘Think HEART’, a campaign by the Children’s Heart Federation to increase the early diagnosis of children’s heart conditions at an event in Parliament on Tuesday 29 April.

Think HEART provides parents with five easy signs to help to spot a 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)

Bill Wiggin MP is also backing the Children’s Heart Federation’s campaign for all babies to be tested for heart conditions at birth to help save lives. Pulse Oximetry is a quick, painless and cheap test that measures oxygen levels in blood and detects over 90% of life threatening heart defects in newborns.

 Bill Wiggin MP said: “I was saddened to learn only a third of the 5,000 babies born every year with Congenital Heart Disease have the condition detected before birth.

“This means babies with potentially lethal but treatable conditions leave hospital without being diagnosed. Delays in diagnosis cause distress, physical harm and can risk lives.

“I’m backing the Children’s Heart Federation’s campaign to get all babies tested for heart conditions at birth and I encourage parents across North Herefordshireto look out for the charity’s five Think HEART signs.”

Bill child heart campaign Tues 29 April 2014

Anne Keatley-Clarke, Chief Executive of CHF said: “We are grateful for Bill WigginMP’s support for increasing the early detection of heart conditions in babies. Having all babies tested at birth will help save lives and we hope our Think HEART campaign will help more parents across North Herefordshirespot the early signs of heart conditions so if needed, children can receive life-saving treatment early.”

To get involved with the Think HEART campaign visit www.chfed.org.uk/thinkheart

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