Congenital Heart Defects in Children

  • A congenital heart defect (CHD) is a heart problem that’s present at birth. It’s caused by improper development of the heart during fetal development.

    • 1 percent of babies are born with a CHD.
    • Nine out of every 1,000 babies born in the US are born with a congenital heart abnormality.
    • One third of these babies require intervention to prevent death in the first year of life.
    • 85 to 90 percent of CHDs have no known causes.
    • 5 to 6 percent are related to chromosome abnormality.
    • 3 to 5 percent are related to single gene defects.
    • 2 percent are related to environmental factors.
    • Approximately 1.3 million people living in the US today were born with a congenital heart defect, and at least half of these individuals are under age 25.

    How Boston Children’s Hospital approaches congenital heart defects

    The first operation to correct a congenital heart defect was performed in 1938 by Boston Children’s surgeon, Robert Gross, MD. Today, we perform more than 1,200 cardiac surgeries each year.

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This department is currently not accepting appointment requests online. Please call us at: 617-355-6000. International +1-617-355-6000.

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The future of pediatrics will be forged by thinking differently, breaking paradigms and joining together in a shared vision of tackling the toughest challenges before us.”
- Sandra L. Fenwick, President and CEO
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