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What is CCHD?

Congenital Heart Disease is one of the most common abnormalities found in newborn babies.  Congenital Heart Disease, or CHD, describes a wide range of heart defects and may be very mild or may be life threatening in the first days of life. Critical Congenital Heart Disease defines more severe forms of CHD that can lead to serious illness or even death soon after the baby is born.

Critical Congenital Heart Disease, or CCHD, happens when a baby’s heart does not develop normally before birth. Although it is rare, affecting only 2-3 of every 1,000 babies born, CCHD can quickly lead to serious illness and even death in the first few days of life. Some babies with CCHD are discovered early in pregnancy by prenatal ultrasound, but many babies with CCHD are diagnosed after they are born. Unfortunately, some of these babies can appear perfectly normal until they become critically ill.

Critical Congenital Heart Disease (CCHD) Facts

  • CCHD occurs when the heart does not develop normally before birth
  • CCHD is a leading cause of newborn and infant death
  • Some babies with CCHD are discovered by prenatal ultrasound, but many babies with CCHD are diagnosed after they are born
  • CCHD affects 2-3 of every 1,000 births
  • Not all kinds of heart disease are life threatening


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