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What Are the Different Types of Congenital Heart Defects?
We can classify congenital heart defects into several categories in order to better understand the problems the baby will experience. They include:
Problems that cause too much blood to pass through the lungs. These defects allow oxygen-rich blood that should be traveling to the body to re-circulate through the lungs, causing increased pressure and stress in the lungs.
Problems that cause too little blood to pass through the lungs. These defects allow blood that has not been to the lungs to pick up oxygen (and, therefore, is oxygen-poor) to travel to the body. The body does not receive enough oxygen with these heart problems, and the baby will be cyanotic, or have a blue coloring.
Problems that cause too little blood to travel to the body. These defects are a result of underdeveloped chambers of the heart or blockages in blood vessels that prevent the proper amount of blood from traveling to the body to meet its needs.
Again, in some cases there will be a combination of several heart defects, making for a more complex problem that can fall into several of these categories.
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