Signs and symptoms of congenital heart defects

accreditation

Many children have no symptoms at all, with the problem only being discovered in adulthood.

On the other hand, some severe defects may not be correctable, and the baby may not survive beyond infancy. Milder defects may go undetected until a complication arises, or until the child becomes active enough to make the congenital heart defect (CHD) apparent.

There is thus no set pattern of symptoms, but any or all of the following may be found at different stages of the child’s life, and should make one suspect CHD:

  • No symptoms at all – in very minor defects
  • Cyanosis (blue tinge to the skin)
  • Sudden episodes of rapid breathing
  • Difficulty with feeding – shortness of breath when suckling
  • Poor growth
  • Dizzy spells/fainting
  • Unusual or inappropriate tiredness
  • Chest pain
  • Heart murmurs
  • Heart failure
  • Pulmonary hypertension – raised pressure in the arteries of the lungs
  • The presence of other non-cardiac abnormalities – problems having associated CHD

(The Heart and Stroke Foundation SA/Health24, updated January 2009)

We live in a world where facts and fiction get blurred
In times of uncertainty you need journalism you can trust. For 14 free days, you can have access to a world of in-depth analyses, investigative journalism, top opinions and a range of features. Journalism strengthens democracy. Invest in the future today. Thereafter you will be billed R75 per month. You can cancel anytime and if you cancel within 14 days you won't be billed. 
Subscribe to News24
Voting Booth
The ANC's leadership race is heating up. Who do you think will be elected party president at Nasrec in December?
Please select an option Oops! Something went wrong, please try again later.
Results
Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma has got it in the bag
7% - 720 votes
I foresee a second term for Cyril Ramaphosa
83% - 8479 votes
Don’t discount a Zweli Mkhize win
10% - 1013 votes
Vote
Rand - Dollar
17.77
-0.8%
Rand - Pound
20.13
+0.5%
Rand - Euro
17.57
+0.2%
Rand - Aus dollar
11.55
-0.7%
Rand - Yen
0.12
-0.4%
Gold
1,715.78
-0.6%
Silver
20.66
-1.9%
Palladium
2,260.50
-2.7%
Platinum
921.00
-1.3%
Brent Crude
91.80
+3.2%
Top 40
59,202
-1.1%
All Share
65,613
-1.1%
Resource 10
63,687
-1.4%
Industrial 25
79,239
-1.1%
Financial 15
13,961
-0.7%
All JSE data delayed by at least 15 minutes Iress logo
Editorial feedback and complaints

Contact the public editor with feedback for our journalists, complaints, queries or suggestions about articles on News24.

LEARN MORE