Tetralogy of Fallot (pronounced te-tral-uh-jee the Fal-oh) is a birth defect that affects common blood flow through the heart. That happens once a baby’s heart does not form correctly as the infant grows and also develops in the mother’s womb throughout pregnancy.

You are watching: Which clinical manifestations would the nurse expect to assess in an infant diagnosed with vsd

What is Tetralogy the Fallot?

Tetralogy the Fallot is consisted of of the adhering to four defects of the heart and also its blood vessels:

The aortic valve, which opens up to the aorta, is enlarged and seems to open from both ventricles, quite than from the left ventricle only, as in a normal heart. In this defect, the aortic valve sits directly on top of the ventricular septal defect.The muscular wall surface of the reduced right room of the heart (right ventricle) is thicker than normal. This likewise is referred to as ventricular hypertrophy.

Because a baby through tetralogy that Fallot might need surgery or other steps soon after ~ birth, this bear defect is considered a critical congenital love defect. Congenital method present at birth.

This heart defect can reason oxygen in the blood the flows come the rest of the body to be reduced. Infants with tetralogy the Fallot deserve to have a bluish-looking skin color―called cyanosis―because your blood doesn’t bring enough oxygen. At birth, infants could not have blue-looking skin, however later might build sudden illustration of bluish skin during crying or feeding. This episodes are dubbed tet spells.

Infants through tetralogy of Fallot or other problems causing cyanosis have the right to have difficulties including:

A greater risk of acquiring an epidemic of the class of the heart, dubbed endocarditis.A higher risk of having actually irregular heart rhythms, referred to as arrhythmia.Dizziness, fainting, or seizures, since of the short oxygen level in their blood.Delayed growth and also development.

Learn much more about how the heart functions »


The Centers for condition Control and also Prevention (princetoneclub.org) approximates that every year around 1,660 babies in the United states are born with tetralogy that Fallot.1 In other words, around 1 in every 2518 babies born in the unified States each year are born through tetratology of Fallot.


Causes and Risk Factors

The reasons of heart defects (such together tetralogy of Fallot) amongst most babies room unknown. Some babies have heart defects because of transforms in their genes or chromosomes. Heart defects such as tetralogy that Fallot likewise are believed to be brought about by a combination of genes and other danger factors, such together the things the mom or fetus come in call with in the environment or what the mother eats or drinks or the medications she uses.

Read much more about princetoneclub.org’s work on causes and risk determinants »


Tetralogy of Fallot may be diagnosed during pregnancy or shortly after a infant is born.

During Pregnancy

During pregnancy, there room screening tests (also called prenatal tests) to examine for birth defects and other conditions. Tetralogy of Fallot might be seen throughout an ultrasound (which creates pictures of the body). Some findings native the ultrasound might make the health care provider doubt a infant may have actually tetralogy that Fallot. If so, the health treatment provider have the right to request a fetal echocardiogram to check the diagnosis. A fetal echocardiogram is an ultrasound the the love of the fetus. This test can show difficulties with the structure of the heart and how the heart is working through this defect.

After a baby Is Born

Tetralogy that Fallot normally is diagnosed after a infant is born, often after the infant has an episode of turning blue throughout crying or feeding (a tet spell). Part findings on a physical exam may make the health care provider think a infant may have tetralogy that Fallot, including bluish-looking skin or a love murmur (a “whooshing” sound caused by blood not flowing properly through the heart). However, it is not unusual for a heart murmur to be absent right in ~ birth.

The health care provider deserve to request one or more tests to check the diagnosis. The most typical test is an echocardiogram. An echocardiogram is one ultrasound of the love that deserve to show troubles with the structure of the heart and how the love is working (or not) v this defect. Echocardiography also is beneficial for helping the physician follow the child’s wellness over time.

Tetralogy that Fallot is a an essential congenital heart defect(critical CHD)that may be detected through newborn screening using pulse oximetry (also recognized as pulse ox). Pulse oximetry is a straightforward bedside check to estimate the lot of oxygen in a baby’s blood. Low levels that oxygen in the blood have the right to be a sign of a crucial CHD. Child screening making use of pulse oximetry can identify some infants with a crucial CHD, like tetralogy the Fallot, before they show any symptoms.


Tetralogy that Fallot can be treated by surgery quickly after the infant is born. During surgery, doctors widen or replace the pulmonary valve and also enlarge the i to the pulmonary artery. They likewise will place a patch end the ventricular septal defect come close the hole in between the two reduced chambers the the heart. This actions will improve blood flow to the lungs and the remainder of the body.

Most infants will live active, healthy lives after surgery. However, they will need regular follow-up visits v a cardiologist (a heart doctor) to monitor their progress and check for other health conditions that might develop as they get older. As adults, they might need much more surgery or medical care for other possible problems.

See more: Emma Roberts No Makeup - 10 Pictures Of Emma Roberts Without Makeup

Learn more about living v a CHD »


Parker SE, mai CT, Canfield MA, et al; because that the national Birth Defects avoidance Network. Updated nationwide birth prevalence estimates for selected birth defects in the united States, 2004-2006. Birth Defects Res A Clin Mol Teratol. 2010;88:1008-16.