Heart Institute Encyclopedia

Cyanosis in Children

Cyanosis refers to a blue or purple hue to the skin. It is most easily observed on the lips, tongue and fingernails.

Cyanosis indicates there may be decreased oxygen in the bloodstream. It may suggest a problem with the lungs, but most often is a result of mixing blue and red blood due to defects of the heart or great vessels. Cyanosis is a finding based on observation, not a laboratory test. 

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Types of Cyanosis

Cause of Cyanosis

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Last Updated: 01/2013