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About one in 2,500 babies in the US is born with tetralogy of Fallot — approximately 1,660 babies a year. This critical congenital heart defect is a combination of four heart problems, and newborns with the condition require early intervention and surgical repair. While a diagnosis of tetralogy of Fallot is scary for parents, surgical repair is usually successful and the long-term outlook is good.

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1. Ventricular Septal Defect

One of the problems tetralogy of Fallot causes is a ventricular septal defect or VSD, a small hole in the septum, the wall between the lower chambers of the heart. This hole disrupts normal blood flow, allowing deoxygenated blood returning from the body to mix with oxygenated blood from the lungs. This reduces how much oxygenated blood returns to the body, which can significantly damage the heart over time.

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