blue baby

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blue baby,

infant born with a congenital heart defect that causes a bluish coloration of the skin as a result of cyanosis (deoxygenated blood). The color is most noticeable around the lips and at the tips of the fingers and toes. The cyanotic condition occurs when a large portion of the venous blood bypasses the lungs. Normally, deoxygenated blood from the veins is pumped from the right side of the heart to the lungs, where it is oxygenated (see circulatory systemcirculatory system,
group of organs that transport blood and the substances it carries to and from all parts of the body. The circulatory system can be considered as composed of two parts: the systemic circulation, which serves the body as a whole except for the lungs, and the
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). In some blue babies, the pulmonary artery is too narrow to allow sufficient blood to pass into the lungs for oxygenation. Surgical correction of the defect is usually required and is usually successful. An incompatibility of fetal and maternal blood types may also cause a bluish coloration in newborn infants, a condition that results when red blood cells in the infant's blood are destroyed by antibodies in the mother's blood (see Rh factorRh factor,
protein substance present in the red blood cells of most people, capable of inducing intense antigenic reactions. The Rh, or rhesus, factor was discovered in 1940 by K. Landsteiner and A. S.
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). Sophisticated knowledge of blood types has made this condition increasingly rare.

blue baby

[′blü ‚bā·bē]
(medicine)
An infant with congenital cyanosis due to cardiac or pulmonary defect, causing shunting of unoxygenated blood into the systemic circulation.

blue baby

a baby born with a bluish tinge to the skin because of lack of oxygen in the blood, esp caused by a congenital defect of the heart
References in periodicals archive ?
Two cases of blue baby syndrome were recently investigated.
Nitrate contamination of water sources is believed to be a contributing factor in blue baby syndrome, a condition in which nitrates interfere with the oxygen-carrying capacity of infants' blood.