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May 31, 2010

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Heart patients get some love

FORTY-EIGHT babies and toddlers with congenital heart disease received free medical treatment at Shanghai Children's Medical Center for International Children's Day.

The children are from Chongming Island and are aged from three months to three years, officials said. They had their hearts checked on Saturday, the hospital's Children's Health Day.

About one-third of the children have serious heart disease and free operations, sponsored by Shanghai Red Cross, would be arranged, hospital officials said.

"Early medical checks are essential because in most cases the disease has no obvious symptoms," said Li Fen, director of the hospital's cardiology department. "Timely treatment raises the chance of curing the disease."

Li suggested parents send their child to a hospital for a heart check if he or she has difficulty breathing, felt weak in the limbs or had a pale and sweaty face.

Congenital heart disease is one of the major causes of death among children under five years old in the city. About seven per 1,000 newborns suffer from congenital heart defects, doctors said.


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