Tricuspid atresia is a heart defect present at birth (congenital) in which one of the valves (tricuspid valve) between two of the heart's chambers — the upper right chamber (right atrium) and the lower right chamber (right ventricle) — isn't formed. Instead, there's solid tissue between the chambers.

If your baby is born with tricuspid atresia, blood can't flow appropriately through the heart and into the lungs to pick up oxygen as it normally would. The result is that the lungs can't supply the rest of your baby's body with the oxygen it needs. Babies with tricuspid atresia tire easily, are often short of breath and have blue-tinged skin.

Tricuspid atresia is treated with multiple surgeries. Most babies with tricuspid atresia who have surgery may live well into adulthood, though follow-up surgeries are often needed.

Aug. 15, 2015