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There are many ways you can help children and their families get the care they need.
The diaphragm is a thin layer of muscle and tissue that separates the chest and abdominal cavity. It is the muscle that the body uses to breathe. When your child has a congenital diaphragmatic (CDH), it means that there’s a hole in that layer—or, rarely, that the diaphragm is missing altogether.
There are two kinds of CDH:
A CDH is a serious, life-threatening condition. But because of advances in treatment, the outlook for babies born with a CDH has greatly improved. The doctors at Boston Children’s treat a number of children with a CDH each year—and have had great success in doing so.
While we don’t know exactly what causes a CDH, scientists believe that multiple genes from both parents—as well as a number of environmental factors that we do not yet fully understand—contribute to diaphragmatic hernia.
When the organs from the abdomen prevent the lungs from growing, the poor lung growth is called pulmonary hypoplasia. Healthy lungs have millions of small air sacs (alveoli), each of which resembles a balloon filled with air. With pulmonary hypoplasia:
When this happens, your baby is unable to take in enough oxygen to stay healthy.
Each child may experience symptoms differently, but possible symptoms of a Bochdalek diaphragmatic hernia may include:
A baby born with a Morgagni hernia may or may not show any symptoms.
Complications of a CDH may include:
A child born with a CDH may need long-term follow-up care. Your child will receive ongoing treatment from a multidisciplinary team of pediatric physicians, nurses and other care providers.
We are grateful to have been ranked #1 on U.S. News & World Report's list of the best children's hospitals in the nation for the third year in a row, an honor we could not have achieved without the patients and families who inspire us to do our very best for them. Thanks to you, Boston Children's is a place where we can write the greatest children's stories ever told.”