Congenital heart defects in children



One or more problems with the structure of the heart that a child is born with.


There are many types of congenital heart defects in children. Severe ones are often found before or soon after a child is born. The cause of congenital heart defects is unclear. But gene changes, some medicines or health conditions, and environmental or lifestyle factors may play a role.


Symptoms include rapid breathing, changes in skin color, shortness of breath, and swelling in the legs, belly or areas around the eyes. The child may get very tired easily during activity.


Treatment depends on the specific condition and how severe it is. Treatment may include medicines, heart repair using thin tubes called catheters and open-heart surgery. More than one surgery may be done. If the congenital heart defect is severe, a heart transplant may be needed.