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About Pediatric Heart Disease

A congenital heart defect is a problem with the way the heart has formed and affects the way blood flows through the heart and throughout the body.

Some children with mild cases are not diagnosed until later in their lives, but most are diagnosed during pregnancy or at birth. These babies, like Madden, require invasive surgery during their first few weeks of life and long hospital stays.

Here are some other important things to know about pediatric heart disease:

  • One in 100 kids are born with Congenital Heart Disease, making it the most common birth defect in the world and a leading cause of infant death
  • Each year, over one million babies are born with a congenital heart defect
  • There are more than 40 different types of congenital heart defects
  • More than half of all children born with one will need at least one invasive surgery
  • Research saves lives: in the last ten years, death rates for congenital heart defects have declined by almost 30% due to advances made through medical research into the disease

(Facts adapted from the Children's Heart Foundation fact sheet and CDC's Congenital Heart Disease facts page)

Did you know?

Congenital heart defects are the most common cause of infant death due to birth defects, yet research remains grossly underfunded in relation to the prevalence of the disease.
On average 12 paediatric heart transplants are performed at the Stollery Hospital every year.
Each year 1500 children are admitted to the Stollery Hospital for cardiac issues.
Surgery for CHD is NOT a cure! Patients need lifelong surveillance and medications to keep their heart's healthy and strong...
The Stollery Children’s Hospital performs 700 paediatric Cardiac surgeries every year.
1 in every 100 children are born with a congenital heart defect.
Everyday 10 babies in Canada are born with a heart defect (which equals to over 100 a day in the United States) – ranging from a small hole that may close on its own to extremely complex requiring a lifetime of close monitoring and countless surgeries.