When an infant suffers from a diaphragmatic hernia, a space in the diaphragm allows organs to pass through and into the chest cavity.


Shortness of breath, difficulty breathing, collapsed lung and death can occur as a result of the condition. Symptoms of diaphragmatic hernia include a bluish color at birth, breathing rapidly and faster than normal heart rate.

Surgery is the only cure for a diaphragmatic hernia. Surgeons will need to operate immediately to save the life of the infant. During surgery, doctors replace organs that have passed through the space in the diaphragm to their correct home behind the diaphragm. After replacing the organs, the hole in the diaphragm is repaired and the surgery completed.

The condition seems to have a genetic link. About one in every 2,200 to 5,000 infants are born with the condition. If a sibling or parent has suffered from diaphragmatic hernia, the chances are greater. The condition may be recognized during a regular ultrasound.