WHAT IS CHD?

Congenital Heart Disease, or CHD, is a birth defect that affects a baby's heart. Most often, these defects are structural - meaning the heart forms differently than normal. These differences affect how the heart works.

There are many types of CHD, some mild and some severe. Mild types, such as small holes between the inside walls of the heart, may cause a murmur (a sound when the doctor listens to the chest with a stethescope) but may be easily corrected or may close on their own.

The most severe types of CHD are life-threatening - babies will die if they do not receive surgery.  Often, even with surgery, the baby is left with a heart that is very different from normal. This may affect the life of the child - how the child grows, thinks and learns. Sometimes, even with surgery, the baby does not survive.