At University Children’s Health Heart Center, we treat a variety of congenital heart defects in infants, children and even young adults. We understand that for parents and loved ones, a child’s congenital heart disease is difficult to face. And, with all the medical “jargon,” it can be even more challenging to understand. In an effort to bring clarity to complex diagnoses, below we address the different types of conditions a child with a pediatric heart condition faces.
Congenital heart disease is categorized into two groups, acyanotic heart defects and cyanotic heart defects. In both defects, the heart doesn’t pump blood as it should.
In the case of an acyanotic heart defect, the blood flows from the left side to the right side of the heart because of a structural defect. However, the oxygen level in the blood is not visibly affected.
A cyanotic heart defect causes low oxygen levels in the blood and usually results in a blue tint to the patient’s skin.