It is present at birth.
Congenital heart defects are the most common type of major birth defect.
A baby's heart begins to develop shortly after conception. During development, structural defects can occur. These defects can involve the walls of the heart, the valves of the heart and the arteries and veins near the heart. Congenital heart defects can disrupt the normal flow of blood through the heart. The blood flow can:
- Slow down
- Go in the wrong direction or to the wrong place
- Be blocked completely
Today, thanks to research and technological advances many children born with complex heart defects grow to adulthood and lead productive lives.
Below you will find some congenital heart defect information and support groups:
Baby Center Heart Group Forum
Congenital Heart Defects
Helping Hands Healing Hearts
It's My Heart
Mended Little Hearts
One In One Hundred
Pace Maker Club
The Children's Heart Foundation
The Congenital Heart Information Network