Congenital High Airway Obstruction (CHAOS) in Children

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Congenital high airway obstruction (CHAOS) is a complete or nearly complete obstruction of the fetal airway.

The obstruction can be due to a variety of causes including:

  • a cyst in the larynx
  • a membrane that blocks the larynx or trachea
  • a malformation that closes off the trachea or larynx
  • a narrowing of the glottis (the middle part of the larynx)

This obstruction causes some serious problems in the fetus:

  • swelling of the lungs
  • swelling of the trachea and bronchial tubes
  • heart failure

Prenatally diagnosed CHAOS requires intervention sometime before your baby takes his first breath.

Hope and compassionate care

The Advanced Fetal Care Center (AFCC) of Boston Children's Hospital is making a significant difference in the outcomes for families facing complex birth defects and other critical challenges to the health of their fetus or newborn.

We've got the expert physicians and staff to significantly improve outcomes for babies with complex health concerns like CHAOS, while delivering hope and compassionate care to families along the way.

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.”
- Sandra L. Fenwick, President and CEO

Boston Children's Hospital
300 Longwood Avenue, Boston, MA 02115
For Patients: 617-355-6000
For Referring Providers: 844-BCH-PEDS | 844-224-7337