Heart Disease In Children

A normal heart has valves, arteries and chambers that carry the blood in a circulatory pattern: body-heart-lungs-heart-body. When all chambers and valves work correctly, the blood is pumped through the heart, to the lungs for oxygen, back the heart and out to the body for delivery of oxygen. When valves, chambers, arteries and veins are malformed, this circulation pattern can be impaired. Congenital heart defects are malformations that are present at birth. They may or may not have a disruptive effect on a person’s circulatory system. Congenital heart defects are structural problems with the heart present at birth. They result when a mishap occurs during heart development soon after conception and often before the mother is aware that she is pregnant. Defects range in severity from simple problems, such as “holes” between chambers of the heart, to very severe malformations, such as complete absence of one or more chambers or valves.