Congenital Heart Defects in Children

Congenital Heart Defects in Children

It is defined as the heart defect in structure or in function of heart by birth. Children born with defects therefore called as congenital heart defects. Some defects are so minor that they do not require any treatment but some structural anomaly required prompt surgical treatment.


Some general signs and symptoms include:

  • Cyanosis (blue skin color)
  • Swelling in legs
  • Shortness of breath
  • Rapid breathing
  • Fainting during activity

During pregnancy heart developed at 8th week completely but heart start to developed at 6th week and start beating, any toxic effect during this time period will developed the structural anomaly in heart. Certain medicines also involved in this matter and sometime genetic and environmental factors play their role.


If left untreated it may cause the following complications:

  • Cyanosis if any defect mixes the oxygenated and deoxygenated blood together.
  • Arrhythmias
  • Stroke if blood clot goes to the brain through heart.
  • Congestive heart failure
  • Emotional stress
  • Growth and development issues

During childhood or infancy your doctor might assume the heart murmur during routine checkup and recommend the following test to confirm the diagnosis:

  • Chest X-ray. To see the condition of heart and lungs
  • Fetal echocardiogram. To evaluate the pumping ability of your heart
  • To check the electrical activity of the heart
  • CT scan. This will provide the better image of the heart
  • Pulse oximetry to check the oxygen concentration in the body

Some defects are so minor that they do not require treatment but only monitoring regularly, but some major defects required urgent treatment. Treatment options include:

  • Open heart surgery to repair the defect by open the chest.
  • Some defect can be treated by catheterization by inserting a tube into the large vein of leg, hole defect sometime fixed by this procedure.
  • Medications to reduce the signs and symptoms
  • Heart transplant
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