Thursday, October 28, 2010

More Heart Talk - PDA

Ethan was born with a small PDA. We suspected it would close after a year.

Well, I tell you, his heart as is stubborn as his personality. That PDA is still there.

At the moment his PDA does not pose any harm to him nor has it interfered with his growth (obviously – have you seen the kid!). After the age of 2 is when this pesky PDA can cause some issues. We are going to do something the doctor referred to as “coiling” through a catheter.

Dr. Q stated while the chances are slim that it will repair itself, that there is still hope (he is just so darn optimistic!) it can close itself. We shall see next Spring.

The procedure seems pretty simple, yet, as a mother of course I worry.. GO AHEAD and say it , “HE’LL BE FINE”. I know I know I KNOW he will, but still…. 

What is a PDA:
Patent ductus arteriosus (PDA) is a heart problem that occurs soon after birth in some babies. In PDA, abnormal blood flow occurs between two of the major arteries connected to the heart.

Before birth, the two major arteries—the aorta and the pulmonary (PULL-mun-ary) artery—are connected by a blood vessel called the ductus arteriosus. This vessel is an essential part of fetal blood circulation.

Within minutes or up to a few days after birth, the vessel is supposed to close as part of the normal changes occurring in the baby's circulation.  In some babies, however, the ductus arteriosus remains open (patent). This opening allows oxygen-rich blood from the aorta to mix with oxygen-poor blood from the pulmonary artery. This can put strain on the heart and increase blood pressure in the lung arteries.

Cardiac Catheterization
(taken from the CCH)
Cardiac catheterization is a procedure that involves puncturing an artery and/or vein, usually located in the groin, so that small, long flexible tube (catheter) can be guided into the heart and major vessels around the heart.

The catheter is moved throughout the heart with the aid of fluoroscopy (x-ray machine).

Interventional catheterization is a type of cardiac catheterization where actual treatments can be performed by use of specialized catheters.
These specialized catheters include balloon catheters that can open up narrowed valves or arteries and also catheters where devices can be deployed which can close extra vessels or certain “holes” in the heart.

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