Congenital heart disease
refers to malformations (defects) of the heart
or major blood vessels. They occur in a developing fetus and range from simple, requiring no treatment, to complex. A small percentage of babies have complex defects that require care soon after birth. Diagnosis and treatment of complex defects is so advanced that almost all children with complex heart defects survive to adulthood and enjoy a normal life, with continued special heart care.
There are more than a dozen different types of defects. They can appear in the heart's walls or valves, or in arteries and veins near the heart, and disrupt the normal flow of blood through the heart.
- Bluish color of the lips, tongue and/or nailbeds.
- Increased rate of breathing or difficulty breathing.
- Poor appetite or difficulty feeding.
- Perspiring, especially during feedings.
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