“Blue baby” is a colloquial term used to describe infants who have cyanosis, a bluish discoloration of the skin and mucous membranes caused by a lack of oxygen in the blood.
There are several different medical conditions that can cause blue baby syndrome, but the most common cause is a congenital heart defect known as a “cyanotic heart lesion.” These types of heart defects prevent oxygen-rich blood from flowing to the body’s tissues, causing cyanosis. Some examples of cyanotic heart lesions include Tetralogy of Fallot and transposition of the great vessels.
Signs and Symptoms
The first sign of cyanotic heart disease usually appears within the first few hours or days of life. Infant with cyanotic heart disease may appear normal at birth but develop symptoms such as cyanosis, tachypnea, poor feeding, and failure to gain weight as they grow. The treatment of blue baby syndrome depends on the underlying condition, but can include surgical repair of the heart defect, medication and lifestyle changes.
The term “Blue baby” is not used much among healthcare professional and it’s less common term to use. More specific terms, such as congenital heart defects, are commonly used in the medical field to describe this condition.