Congenital heart defect (CHD), also known by other names as a congenital heart anomaly or congenital heart diseases, is the problem lying in the structure of the heart that was present at birth. Signs and symptoms depend on the specific type of problems. Symptoms may vary from none to life-threatening.

Congenital heart defect is problems with the heart structure that is present at birth. These defects can involve:

The interior wall of heart

The valves inside heart

The arteries and veins that carry blood to heart or body

Congenital heart defects change the normal flow of the blood through the heart.

There are many types of the congenital heart defects. They range from the simple defects with no symptoms to complex defects with the severe, life-threatening symptom.


If your child has a congenital heart defect, you may think you did something wrong during your pregnancy to lead to the problem. However, doctor’s often do not know why the congenital heart defects occur.

Heredity may play the role in some heart defects. For the example, a parent who has the congenital heart defect may be more likely to have than a child defect compared with the other people. Rarely happens that more than one child in a family is born with a heart defect.

A child who has genetic disorders, such as Down syndrome, often has congenital heart defects. In fact, half of all babies who have the Down syndrome have congenital heart defects.

Smoking during the pregnancy also has been linked to the several congenital heart defects, including septal defects.

Researcher continues their searches for the causes of congenital heart defects.

The Sign and Symptom

Many congenital heart defects cause the few or no signs and symptoms. A doctor cannot even detect signs of the heart defect during the physical exam.

Some heart defect can cause signs and symptoms. They depend on the numbers, types, and severities of the defect. Severe defects can cause the signs and symptoms, usually in the newborns. These signs and symptoms can include:

Rapid breaths

Cyanosis (a bluish tint to skin, lips, and fingernails)

Fatigueless (tiredness)

Poor blood circulation

Congenital heart defects do not cause the chest pain or other painful symptoms.

Although many children who have congenital heart defects do not need treatments but some do. Doctors repair congenital heart defects with the catheter procedures or surgery.

Sometimes doctors combine the catheter and the surgical procedure to repair complex the heart defects, which may involve several kinds of defect.

The treatment child receives depends on the type and severity of his or her heart defect. Other factors include child's age, size, and general health.

Some children who have the complex congenital heart defects can need several catheter or surgical procedures over the period of years, or they can need to take medicines for years.

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