Pediatrics: The Case of the Cranky Baby

Each year, about 7,000 American babies less than a year old die of inborn heart defects. "Eighty percent of these infants could be saved by surgery," says Baylor University's Pediatrician Dan G. McNamara. The trouble is, Dr. McNamara told an international meeting on the heart and circulation of the newborn, that not enough physicians are trained to detect the sometimes subtle signs that a "cranky" baby may actually have severe deformities of the heart or major blood vessels.

Most of the preventable deaths, said Dr. McNamara, occur in the first three months of life. That is usually too early for...

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