Tetralogy of Fallot is a rare condition resulting from a combination of four congenital heart defects that lead to the flow out of oxygen–poor blood from the heart to the rest of the body. This causes infants and children with the condition to have a bluish tinge to their skin due to insufficient oxygen levels in their blood.
The condition is typically diagnosed shortly after birth or in early childhood, although in some cases it may not be detected until adulthood depending on the severity of symptoms.
Surgery is necessary for all babies with tetralogy of Fallot, and patients may face activity restrictions and require ongoing medical care throughout their lives.
The degree of blood flow obstruction determines the specific symptoms of tetralogy of Fallot. Some warning signs and symptoms include:
Tetralogy of Fallot kids can experience abrupt development of vivid blue skin, lips, and nails after crying, eating, or becoming disturbed.
Episodes of decreased blood oxygen levels in individuals with tetralogy of Fallot are commonly referred to as “Tet spells“. These episodes usually occur in infants between the ages of 2 and 4 months, and are characterized by a sudden drop in blood oxygen levels. Toddlers or older children may instinctively squat during a Tet spell, as this can increase blood flow to the lungs.
If your infant exhibits any of the following signs or symptoms, get medical attention right away:
Place your infant on his or her side and draw the knees up to the chest if he or she becomes blue (cyanotic). The lungs receive more blood as a result of this. Dial your local emergency number right away.
During pregnancy, as the baby’s heart develops, tetralogy of Fallot occurs. The cause is frequently unknown.
There are four types of defects in Tetralogy of Fallot, such as:
In some cases, tetralogy of Fallot may occur alongside other heart conditions in both children and adults. These may include an atrial septal defect, a right aortic arch, or problems with the coronary arteries.
Eventhough the precise cause of tetralogy of Fallot is unknown, there are some factors that could raise the likelihood that a baby will be born with this condition. The following are risk factors for tetralogy of Fallot:
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