Families to come together with
St. Louis Fetal Care Institute
Saturday to build awareness about birth anomaly that impacts thousands of babies born each year.
The more than 1,600 babies born with Congenital Diaphragmatic Hernia (CDH) every year in the U.S. fight to take their first breath. With the contents of their abdomen creeping into their chests through a hole in the diaphragm, their lungs don’t have the chance to develop properly, making it difficult, if not impossible for them to breathe.
A CDH Awareness Walk and Easter Egg Hunt will be held at 10 a.m. on Saturday, April 12 at SSM Cardinal Glennon Children’s Medical Center, 1465 S. Grand Blvd. St. Louis, MO 63104. CDH survivors, and their families from around the St. Louis region are expected to join in the event.
It will start with a reception at 10 a.m., followed by a walk around the Cardinal Glennon grounds and a balloon release in memory of those who have lost their battle with CDH at 10:30 a.m. The morning will conclude with an Easter egg hunt.
“CDH accounts for eight percent of all major congenital anomalies, yet many people have never heard of it,” says St. Louis Fetal Care Institute Director Dr. Mike Vlastos, MFM. “We see too many cases of CDH that are not discovered until after a baby is born. By building awareness we hope to increase prenatal diagnoses, which gives these babies a better chance at survival.”
Research is currently underway for a method of prenatally treating CDH. But, the standard of care is to repair the hole in the baby’s diaphragm after birth. Cardinal Glennon has a team of pediatric surgeons, maternal fetal medicine specialists, and neonatologists who are skilled in diagnosing and treating CDH.
“With a survival rate of only 69 percent according to the American Academy of Pediatrics, we owe it to these babies and their families to find a way to increase the odds,” says Vlastos.