What is cyanotic congenital heart disease?

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Cyanotic congenital heart disease

Cyanotic congenital heart disease includes abnormal openings between the heart chambers that allow oxygen-poor blood from the right side of the heart to mix with oxygen-rich blood from the left side of the heart. When a large amount of oxygen-poor blood mixes with oxygen-rich blood, it causes a bluish tint (cyanosis) in the skin, lips, or nail beds.

Congenital heart disease: Dealing with oxygen problems in your child

One type of congenital heart disease called cyanotic disease causes oxygen problems. This means that the child's body isn't getting a normal amount of oxygen. Children with cyanotic disease may have a bluish tint to the skin, lips, or fingernails.

Your doctor can give you complete instructions on how to care for your child. The following tips can help if your child has "blue spells" (cyanosis).

  • Try to calm the child.
  • Try placing the child with their knees to the chest.

    You can place your child on their back with the knees drawn up to the chest or in a sitting position with the chest to the knees.

  • Find out if you need to give your child oxygen.
    • You may need to give oxygen if the spells are severe and don't improve with a change in position.
    • You give oxygen by placing a small tube at the entrance to the nostrils.
    • Your doctor will tell you how much oxygen is needed.

Tell your doctor whenever a blue spell occurs.

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