The term “Congenital Heart Disease” (CHD) covers a broad range of physical and clinical conditions related to structures of the heart, usually diagnosed at birth. These defects may include defects or physical abnormalities of the arteries and veins of the heart, defects related to the various valves of the heart and also include the various physical structures within the heart such as the Atrium and Ventricles.
Many of the more common structural anomalies will self-repair during the first few years of life, but others require intervention to repair the defects. These changes to the structure of the heart may affect the flow of blood to or from the heart and have a wide range of clinical sequalae related to the abnormality. The clinical condition may be considered either simple or complex depending on the defect present.1
The Australian prevalence for congenital heart disease has been estimated to be 8-10 cases per 1000 live births, which approximates to be up to 3000 babies born each year with a variety of CHD. However, as many forms of CHD are treated as babies to children, there may be as many as 65 000 adults living with CHD in the wider community.2