All you need to know about CHD

What is CHD?

CHD, or congenital heart disease, refers to problems or defects of the heart that happened while the heart was developing in a baby before birth. The heart defects vary and can affect the valves, the walls of the heart, or the blood vessels (veins and arteries) surrounding the heart.


According to the heart specialist in Jaipur, symptoms of CHD differ depending on the heart defect and the child’s age. Many congenital heart defects can be detected in a baby before birth, allowing doctors to plan for the care of a newly born after delivery. In other cases, doctors will note symptoms in a baby after birth, including:

  • Difficulty breathing
  • Abnormal oxygen levels that are too low
  • Abnormal colour of the skin, fingernails or lips
  • Difficulty with feeding including breathing fast, fatigue with feeds, or not gaining enough weight
  • Abnormal heart rates or rhythms
  • Abnormal sounds of the heart (murmur) 

Other children will not have any symptoms at birth and may develop these symptoms later in life, or a congenital heart condition may be diagnosed by cardiologist based on other symptoms. 


Most forms of congenital heart disease have an unidentified cause. There are certain heart defects that can occur in multiple family members and likely root back to the genetic cause. Other heart defects are known to commonly accompany certain genetic syndromes such as down syndrome. Rarely, heart defects can be caused by certain medications that a mother might take during pregnancy or by a specific illness in the pregnant mother. But most of the time, there is no clear reason for the heart defect.


In some cases, congenital heart disease can be diagnosed in babies before birth with foetal echocardiograms. After birth, certain defects in new-borns will be diagnosed due to new born screening. According to the heart specialist doctor in Jaipur, other ways to diagnose heart defects in children include ultrasounds (echocardiogram of the heart), chest X-rays, or electrocardiograms (EKG). After the diagnosis of congenital heart disease, a paediatric heart specialist in Jaipur may decide to obtain more information about the heart defect using MRI or cardiac catheterization.


Congenital heart disease can range from simple to very complex and will affect children in different ways. As a result, some defects will be simply watched by the child’s heart doctor and can be managed with medicines. Some of these defects become smaller or resolve as the child grows.  Other, more complex defects will require cardiac surgery, as early as the first week of life, or during other times in childhood.  Some children with complex conditions will require multiple surgeries, performed by the heart specialist in Jaipur in their life.