A Congenital Heart Defect is a heart malformation present at birth. Common problems include a hole in the heart and/or parts of the heart that are too big, too small, missing, malformed, or in the wrong place. There is no cure to date for CHD. Most require surgical repair early in life and a lifetime of cardiac care. Some may even require multiple surgeries and/or heart transplant.
Congenital heart defects can affect anyone. It is blind to gender, race, age, economic status and ethnic background.
According to the American Heart Association, though research is ongoing, at least 35 defects have now been identified.
According to the American Heart Association, heart defects, especially those occurring as isolated problems in otherwise healthy infants, generally don’t have readily identifiable genetic or environmental causes. Some error occurs early in the formation and growth of the heart when the fetus is developing that causes the defect. When children are born with a congenital heart defect, often there is no known cause.