Congenital heart disease (CHD) is the most common birth defect, although still relatively rare.   Early recognition of congenital heart disease is important because clinical presentation and deterioration may be sudden and some treatable defects may even cause death before diagnosis.  The surgical and medical treatment of CHD has markedly improved over the last 50 years. Corrective surgery for intracardiac defects first began at the Mayo Clinic and the University of Minnesota in the 1950s.  It was the introduction of machines that perfused the vital organs while a surgeon carefully repaired a non-beating heart that revolutionized the field of corrective surgery. Survival well into adulthood is now expected for most babies born with CHD.Screening for congenital heart disease includes ultrasonography in the second trimester of pregnancy and postpartum clinical exam; however, detection rates are low.
Consultant in Paediatric and Adolescent Cardiology
Honorary Senior Lecturer
Paediatric and Adolescent Cardiology
Great Ormond Street Hospital and Institute of Child Health
SK declares that he has no competing interests.
Dr Sachin Khambadkone would like to gratefully acknowledge Dr Nathaniel W. Taggart and Dr Frank Cetta, the previous contributors to this topic. NWT and FC declare that they have no competing interests.
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