Cyanosis

What is cyanosis?

Cyanosis is a bluish color in the skin, lips, and nail beds caused by a shortage of oxygen in the blood. Cyanosis occurs because blood with low levels of oxygen turns blue or purple. This low-oxygen blood causes a blue-purple tint to the skin.

What are the symptoms of cyanosis?

The most common symptom of cyanosis is blue skin, especially where the skin is thin, such as the mouth, lips, fingernails, and earlobes.

What conditions cause cyanosis?

Cyanosis is usually caused by problems of the heart, lungs, or blood. Some of the heart conditions that can cause a child to have cyanosis are:

How is cyanosis treated?

Treatment for cyanosis involves treating the underlying disease. Once this is resolved, the skin should return to its proper color.

How we care for cyanosis

At the Boston Children’s Hospital Heart Center, we have one of the world’s largest teams of highly trained pediatric cardiologists and pediatric cardiac surgeons, including special expertise across dozens of programs and services.

Our top-ranked team treats a full spectrum of cardiac disorders, including the rarest and most complex congenital heart defects.