Back to Congenital Anomalies
A congenital heart defect (CHD) is a heart problem that’s present at birth. It’s caused by improper development of the heart during baby’s development in the womb. New mothers often wonder if they did anything to cause their baby’s CHD. It’s important to remember that in most cases, CHD has no known cause. Most of the time, there is no identifiable reason as to why the heart defect occurred. However, some at-risk groups include:
- women who take anti-seizure medication while pregnant
- women who take lithium while pregnant
- women who have phenylketonuria but do not adhere to the special diet necessary
- women who have insulin-dependent diabetes
- women who contract rubella while pregnant
There is approximately an 8-10% risk that a mother with a congenital heart defect (CHD) will have a baby with some type of CHD, but not necessarily the same defect as the mother. High risk prenatal monitoring of the mother and baby is recommended.
Several CHDs are detected and treated early in infancy. Different types of congenital heart defects are:
Patent ductus arteriosus:- blood bypasses lungs, preventing oxygen to circulate
Tetrallogy of fallot: - four simultaneous heart defects
Transposition of great vessels:-blood from the left and right sides of the heart mix together
coarctation of the aorta:- pinched aorta
Hypoplastic heart:-the right or left side of the heart is incompletely formed
Children with congenital heart defects have a bluish tint to the skin, fingernails and lips, fast breathing and poor feeding, poor weight gain, recurrent lung infections, and inability to exercise or play.
Back to services