Congenital heart defects (CHDs) are conditions that are present at birth and can affect the structure of a baby's heart and the way it works. They are the most common type of birth defect. As medical care and treatment have advanced, infants with congenital heart defects are living longer and healthier lives. Many now are living into adulthood.
CDC is making progress toward understanding the healthcare needs and outcomes among the growing population of older children and adults with congenital heart defects.
Critical congenital heart defect screening using pulse oximetry is a painless bedside test that can assist doctors in identifying babies with these heart defects before they leave the hospital.
About 1 in every 4 babies born with a heart defect has a critical congenital heart defect and will need surgery or other procedures in the first year of life.
- Page last reviewed: August 17, 2015
- Page last updated: August 17, 2015
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