Congenital Heart Defect
February 7-14, 2011
An international coalition of families, individuals, non-profit
organizations, support groups, and health professionals participate in a
campaign to increase public awareness of Congenital Heart Defects and
Childhood Heart Disease.
Congenital Heart Defect Fact Sheet
- Sometime during early pregnancy, a baby's heart may not form
properly, resulting in structural abnormalities known as Congenital
Heart Defects. In many cases the
cause is unknown.
It is estimated that 40,000 babies with Congenital Heart Defects
(CHD) are born in the United States each year.
Although some babies will be diagnosed at birth, newborns are not
routinely screened for CHD. The consequences of a late diagnosis can
have serious, lifelong implications.**
CHD is the most frequently occurring birth defect, and is the
leading cause of birth-defect related deaths.
Nearly 1,800 infants with CHD die each year as a result of congenital
Some CHDs may require visits to a
Pediatric Cardiologist. Others can be treated with medications or
repaired with surgery and/or procedures. Complex defects may require
several surgeries and are never really "cured".
The majority of patients born with congenital heart defects are
now adults****, yet many adults with CHD are not receiving
adequate ongoing care from trained specialists.**
**Report of the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute Working
Group on Research in Adult Congenital Heart Disease, 2006
***Congenital Heart Surgeons Society
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