Congenital Heart Defects (cont.)
IN THIS ARTICLE
The exact cause of most congenital heart defects is not known. But doctors do know that certain things increase the risk that a baby will have a heart defect. See What Increases Your Risk.
Congenital heart defects cause a wide range of symptoms. Your baby may have only mild symptoms and tire easily, for example. He or she may have life-threatening symptoms, such as severe difficulty breathing. Or your baby may not have any symptoms that you notice at birth but may have them later as he or she grows.
Symptoms usually go away after the defect is corrected. A congenital heart defect that is repaired at the right time is less likely to permanently affect your child's growth and development.
Common symptoms include:
Symptoms of blood flow problems
Blood flow problems caused by heart defects can mean that your baby gets less oxygen. This happens mostly in children who have cyanotic heart defects ("blue babies").
If a baby has trouble getting oxygen or the heart is working extra hard, symptoms include:
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