Congenital heart disease

“Congenital” means that it is present from birth, this can be due to a genetic variation passed on during pregnancy or poor lifestyle choices. Many cases are diagnosed prior to the arrival of the baby but it is not always possible. There are a variety of symptoms which may indicate an issue, these are:

  • Rapid breathing
  • Faster heart rate
  • Extreme tiredness
  • Swelling (of the legs, eyes and/or tummy)
  • A blue-ish tinge to the skin

If you have any concerns, always speak to your healthcare professional.

Three conditions of CHD include: 

  • A hole in the heart:  this is when a hole is present between two chambers.  In many cases this may improve all on it’s own and further treatment may not be necessary.
  • An underdeveloped heart:  where the organ cannot work properly and move blood around the body
  • The narrowing of the aorta (otherwise known as Coarctation):  where the main artery in the body is narrower than it should be.

More information can be found on Congenital heart disease on the NHS website.

View the Congenital heart disease service here

Page last reviewed: 29 July 2022

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