Congenital diaphragmatic hernia

A congenital diaphragmatic hernia (CDH) is a defect that occurs when the baby’s diaphragm (the thin muscle between the abdomen and the chest) does not form properly during foetal development. The diaphragm is essential to allow normal breathing, and when it is not properly formed, the organs in the abdomen move into the chest and cause compression of the developing lung. Symptoms of this condition include fast and difficult breathing, abnormal chest development and an empty looking abdomen. In most cases, it is possible to diagnose CDH before birth with the use of an ultrasound, and after birth, the baby may require mechanical ventilation and definitive surgical repair of the diaphragmatic opening.


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