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Congenital Diaphragmatic Hernia Action Day 2023: Date, History, Facts about C.D.H

What would it feel like to have all of our abdominal organs shoved into our chest? How congested are the lungs and the heart? Can you fathom how severe this condition would be?

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On April 19, we observe Congenital Diaphragmatic Hernia Action Day. Congenital Diaphragmatic Hernia, or C.D.H., is a condition that occurs when the diaphragm — a thin muscle membrane separating the chest cavity from the abdomen — is underdeveloped or has a hole. The partial development of the hole causes the abdominal organs, such as the intestines, stomach, and liver, to ascend into the thoracic cavity. C.D.H. is a less well-known condition that is quite prevalent worldwide. David Y. Ige, the governor of Hawaii, began the day with a C.D.H. awareness campaign.

The background of Congenital Diaphragmatic Hernia Action Day

What would it feel like to have all of our abdominal organs shoved into our chest? How congested are the lungs and the heart? Can you fathom how severe this condition would be? That is the definition of a congenital diaphragmatic hernia. C.D.H. is a congenital defect caused by a malformed or underdeveloped diaphragm. Unfortunately, this is a prevalent condition that is less well-known and requires more attention. It is a life-threatening condition that can result in infant mortality if complications arise. There are two main types of complications: pulmonary hypoplasia and pulmonary hypertension. The mortality rate is between 40 and 62%.

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In 1679, Dr. Lazare Rivière first described C.D.H. after observing the condition during the autopsy of a 24-year-old individual. Also in 1701, Dr. Luther Emmett Holt described the clinical and postmortem manifestations of C.D.H. Throughout the centuries, the condition was investigated in greater depth and described in numerous papers. However, the first effective surgical treatment did not occur until 1902. The advancement of neonatal medicine has enhanced the infant surgical survival rate. The development of ultrasound scanning technology has also facilitated the early diagnosis of the disease by physicians. This further facilitates early treatment initiation and risk reduction.

The two leading causes of respiratory failure in neonates with C.D.H. are pulmonary hypoplasia and pulmonary hypertension. These conditions can significantly reduce lung volume and restrict blood flow to the lungs. Typically, the initial phase of treatment consists of intubation to secure the airway. Generally, plication of the diaphragm is used to correct diaphragm malformations. Various factors, such as the severity of complications, genetics, the extent of the hernia, etc., influence the surgical outcome.

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Ultrasound can detect C.D.H. as early as 16 weeks into a pregnancy.

Approximately fifty percent of C.D.H. repair patches will reoccur.

According to research, one in every 3,600 newborns in the United States is born with C.D.H.

The documented overall mortality rate for C.D.H. ranges from 40 to 48%.

According to some investigations, approximately 147 infants are born each day with C.D.H.


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Arshiya Khan
Arshiya Khan
Arshiya Khan is a Commerce graduate who loves to write on general and trending topics.

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