Common CDH Terms

A | B | C | D | E | F | G | H | I | J | K | L | M | O | P | Q | R | S | T | U | V | W | X | Y | Z


# A

(Arterial Blood Gas) a blood gas drawn from an artery; usually from the patient's arm, leg, or central line.

AFP Test
(alpha-fetoprotein) a blood test performed on pregnant women that can possibly identify fetal abnormalities by measuring the maternal serum level; usually performed at 16-18 weeks of gestation.


Agenesis of the Diaphragm
complete absence of the diaphragm.

a medical procedure performed on pregnant women that can identify possible fetal abnormalities by running lab tests on amniotic fluid. It involves inserting a needle through the woman's abdomen and into the amniotic sac and then removing an amount of amniotic fluid for testing.

(pain killer) medication that relieves pain and discomfort (Tylenol, Acetaminophen, Aspirin, Tegretol, ect).

a medication that prohibits growth of or destroys microorganisms that cause infections (Amoxicilline, Amphotericin, Erythromycin, Gentamicin, Azapen, Staphcillin, Vancomycin, Tetracycline, etc.)

a blood vessel that carries blood from the heart to the body's organs.

# B

A procedure that uses an Ambu Bag to manually pump air into a patient's lungs.

Blood Gases
a measurement of the amount of carbon dioxide, oxygen, and acid in a patient's blood. These measurements are needed to determine the amount of oxygen and ventilator support that a patient needs.

Blood Saturation
the percentage of oxygen contained in the patient's blood. For a healthy person, 100% is ideal.

Blood Transfusion
carefully screened blood given to a patient to replace blood lost during a surgical procedure.

Bochdaleck Hernia
(Foramen of Bochdaleck) an opening through the left diaphragm between the chest cavity and abdominal cavity toward the back of the body. It is the most common form of diaphragmatic hernia.

abnormally low heart rate.

# C

A blood vessel that carries blood between the smallest arteries and the smallest veins.

Carbon Dioxide
gas exhaled by the lungs after oxygen is absorbed. Insufficient exchange of oxygen and carbon dioxide can cause serious problems for the patient.

(Capillary Blood Gas) a blood gas drawn from a capillary blood vessel; usually from the patient's toe or finger.

liquid measurement used by many hospitals. 30cc = 1 ounce.

Cental Line
a more permanent type of I.V., surgically placed in an artery or vein, yet less evasive than a broviac.

trained person who can provide you with religious support. Most hospitals either have, or can find, a chaplain within your religion. Many can perform dedications and baptisms at a patient's beside.

Chest P.T.
physical therapy that involves "beating" on the patient's chest. Though it may be noisy and alarming to you, it is an essential part of care to help prevent pneumonia.

Chest Tube
a drainage tube surgically placed in the patient's chest and connected to a suctioning device to prevent fluid from collecting in the chest cavity.

any long-term medical problem.

Chronic Care Facility
a facility that provides long-term care for patients that cannot receive necessary medical care in their own homes.

Congenital Abnormality
a defect present at birth.

Continuous Positive Airway Pressure which helps a patient to maintain the necessary pressure needed to keep his/her lungs inflated.

a sample of blood, secretions, stool, urine, or other physical matter taken from the patient and sent to a lab to look for disease and infection. If the culture is positive, it will be treated with different medications to find which can kill the bacteria present.

# D

Medications that increase the amount of urination; used to avoid or decrease large amounts of fluid build-up or edema; patients may need extra potassium chloride while on diuretics (Edecrine, Diurel, Lasix, Spirolactone, Hydrochlorothiazide etc.)

(Do Not Resuscitate) order given to the medical staff by a patient's next of kin if they decide it would be in the patient's best interests to let he/she die naturally.

# E

(Extracorpeal Membrane Oxygenation) a very large and complex machine that takes over the work of the patient's heart and lungs. A very large catheter, a plastic tube, is placed in an artery in the patient's neck. Blood is then removed from the patient's body, oxygenated, and returned to the patient.


Endotracheal Tube
(E.T.-Tube) a tube placed through the patient's nose or mouth to help provide mechanical or manual ventilation.

a medication that can be used to restore cardiac rhythm during cardiac arrest.

# F

Familial Abnormalities
Birth defects that occur in two or more family members.

a doctor training to become a specialist in a given field of medicine.

Femoral Line
a central line placed in an artery near the patient's groin.

Folley Catheter
a plastic tube inserted into a patient's ureter to aid in urination and taking "clean" urine cultures.

# G

Gastointestinal Reflux
An illness that occurs when the stomach contents "backup" into the esophagus, where they can possibly be aspirated (inhaled) into the lungs. This is a common problem for babies born with CDH that can be controlled with medications and/or surgery (Nissen fundoplication).

Genetic Counseling
counseling that involves providing information to at-risk parents who are expecting a child or planning a pregnancy or who have a child with birth defects or chromosomal abnormalities. It informs parents of their risks of fetal abnormalities in present or future pregnancies. It is advised for couples who are older or who have family histories of birth defects or chromosomal abnormalities.

a specialist in the study of genetic abnormalities and birth defects.

# H

A protrusion of an organ or tissue through a weak area in muscle or other tissue that would normally contain it.

# I

In-Utero Repair
Procedure in which the diaphragm is repaired while the mother is still pregnant. It is experimental, done in only a few hospitals, and certain guidelines have to apply.

# J

# K

(kg) 1kg = 2.2 pounds.

# L

Lab Technician
An individual trained on how to draw and analyze blood and other body fluids.

Lung Hypoplasia
- failure of one or both lungs to develop fully.

# M

Medical Student
A student in medical school training and taking courses to become a doctor.

Medical Team
doctors, nurses, technician, dieticians, and therapists assigned to a patient's care.

Morgagni Hernia
(Foramen of Morgagni) diaphragmatic hernia occurring near the front of the body, near the breastbone.

# N

Medications that cause the patient to sleep; highly addictive and must be weaned slowly (Fentynal, Methadone, Codeine, Morphine, etc.)

Nitric Oxide
a gas that is used as an inhalant in order to try to enhance lung growth and recovery

Nissen Fundoplication
a surgical procedure where the opening between the lower end of the esophagus and the top part of the stomach is narrowed to prevent stomach contents from flowing backward into the esophagus.

(nasogastric tube)-a plastic tube inserted through the patient's nose into the patient's stomach or intestines to aid in digestion when the patient cannot eat by mouth.

(Neonatal Intensive Care Unit) a high-tech newborn nursery for critically ill babies.

individuals trained to take care of a patient's hygienic and medical needs, giving medications, inserting IV's, and recording medical information.

trained professionals with special knowledge about the necessary nutrients needed for a patient's growth and development.

# O

# P

A medication that temporarily paralyzes the patient's muscles to keep him/her still when their condition can be threatened by movement (as when on ECMO). It should not be given without a sedative or the patient's mind will still be awake.

(Pediatric Intensive Care Unit) a hospital ward for critically ill children.

Physical Therapists
individuals who help patients recover muscle-tone lost during their illnesses.

illness caused by bacteria which causes fluid buid-up in the patient's lungs.

excess amount of amniotic fluid; usually an indicator of possible fetal problems or abnormalities.

an individual with training in human behavior and development who can asses a patient's development and assist the patient's family as they adjust to having a sick child.

a machine that reads the patient's heart rate and blood saturation levels through a probe taped to the patient's toe or finger.

# Q

# R

A doctor in training under the guidance of a more experienced physician.

Respiratory Therapists
trained individuals who assist in the operation of ventilators and perform procedures which aid a patient's breathing and oxygen intake.

Room Air
a term used to describe the fact that a patient is breathing the same amount of oxygen that normal, healthy people would breathe; 21%.

# S

A medication that calms and/or puts the patient to sleep so that he/she will not feel pain or discomfort (Versed, Ativan, Valium, Chloral Hydrate, etc.)

infection (septic-infected).

Social Worker
an individual who helps families deal with their reactions to having a sick child and helps them make necessary housing, transportation, and financial arrangements.

a procedure during which a small catheter, attached to a suction machine, is inserted into a patient's trach or endotracheal tube to remove secretions that a patient could not normally cough out.

# T

TPN and Lipids
High calorie I.V. fluids used for long-term nutrition.

Tracheal Occlusion
a new procedure that like in-utero repair, involves an operation on the mother during pregnancy. Rather than correcting the diaphragm, this procedure clamps off the baby's trachea, causing the lungs to grow and push the organs back into the abdominal cavity.

# U

# V

A blood vessel that carries unoxygenated blood to the lungs from the body's other organs.

# W

# X

X-Ray Technician
A trained individual who operates both portable and stationary x-ray equipment.

# Y

# Z

News from CHERUBS

Featured Cherub: Sofia Marie Carman

Featured Cherub of the Week is Sofia Marie Carman, she is the daughter of Steve and Katie Carman. 


CHERUBS Annual Blue Jays Get Together, April 27, 2019

Save the date!  The annual Blue Jays Get Together is scheduled for April 27, 2019. Canada International Representative, Amanda Plakholm, is in the process of organizing a CHERUBS Get Together for families at the Toronto Blue Jays game on Saturday, April 27, 2019. The game is at 3:07pm against the Oakland A's. This is the 5th annual Cherubs Blue Jays Game gathering, where CDH families and friends can come together to raise CDH Awareness. To reach Amanda please email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .


Featured Cherub: Steven Hilario Lagunas

Featured cherub of the week is Steven Hilario Lagunas. He is the son of Berenice and Steven Lagunas. He fought so hard for 6 months, a warrior in every sense of the word.  From Steven's GoFundMe page, "Steven was a beautiful boy with a personality that shines brighter than the sun. His smile and his long eyelashes stole everyone’s heart. He smiled regardless of what he was going through. He truly is the strongest little boy we knew. Although our time with him was cut short he will be incredibly missed and loved forever. The time spent with him will forever be cherished."

The following is shared by cherub Steven's mom:


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