Congenital Heart Defects

This information is useful for children
Why Yale Medicine?
  • Our specialists take a highly personalized approach to working with both patients and families, which can mean better outcomes from fetal diagnosis right through adulthood.
  • Services like our Pediatric Interventional Cardiac Catheterization Program, which serves all ages, have earned us a global reputation for excellence.
  • Our Cardiovascular Genetics Program is at the forefront of uncovering the underlying mechanisms of congenital heart disease.

When you hear that a baby or child has a congenital heart defect, it means there is a  structural problem that has affected the way the heart or major blood vessels have formed. Birth defects like this are common—nearly one out of every 100 children born is affected by congenital heart disease.

“About half of these are major defects, requiring significant intervention or surgery, or multiple surgeries over many years,” says Alan Friedman, MD, a pediatric cardiologist for Yale Medicine, and professor of pediatric cardiology at Yale School of Medicine. Scary as that sounds, most will be fine. “The outlook for just about every child born with congenital heart disease is excellent,” he says. “More than 95 percent of babies born with congenital heart disease survive to adulthood."

Yale Medicine specialists provide highly personalized care for congenital heart disease patients of all ages, from fetal diagnosis through adulthood.

Clinical Trials

New treatments for many conditions are tested in clinical trials, which ultimately bring lifesaving new drugs and devices to the patients who need them most. By participating in a clinical trial, you may get access to the most advanced treatments for your condition, and help determine their benefits for future patients.