Sunday, October 10, 2010

Heart Issues

Up to 50% of children with Down syndrome are also born with a congenital heart defect, often requiring surgery.

At birth, Matthew was diagnosed with:
1. moderate Patent Ductus Arteriosus (PDA) - To quote an article on the Cincinnati Children's website,
"The ductus arteriosus is a blood vessel that is present in all babies while still in the womb that allows blood to bypass the pathway to the lungs; it allows blood to flow from the pulmonary artery to the aorta. When the baby is born and the umbilical cord is cut, the lungs are now needed to supply oxygen. The lungs expand, their blood vessels relax to accept more flow and the ductus arteriosus usually closes within the first hours of life. On occasion, however, the ductus arteriosus ductus arteriosus does not close on its own and this is referred to as a patent ("Patent" mean open) ductus arteriosus."

2. moderate pulmonary artery hypertension - increased blood pressure in the pulmonary atery, which carries blood from the heart to the lungs.

3. Potent Foramen Ovale - a hole in the heart that didn't close the way it should after birth

4. moderate tricuspid insufficiency, also known as tricuspid regurgitation - a condition where the tricuspid valve does not close properly, causing blood to leak backward into the right upper heart chamber when the right lower right chamber contracts.

special nurseryThe doctors monitored him very closely in the hospital's special nursery. He had a oxygen hood over his head to help supply his little body with oxygen. As his saturation levels improved, the oxygen hood was replaced with a nasal cannula.

On October 8, three days after he was born, he was weaned to room air with acceptable oxygen saturation levels. Miraculously, the PDA resolved also itself and there was significant improvement with the pulmonary hypertension. A Grade 1, meaning very faint, murmur replaced all of the initial diagnoses. This was for noted follow-up with his pediatrician.

After about a week in the hospital, we were given the green light to go home.

An echocardiogram when he was 2 months old revealed a trivial amount of tricuspid regurgitation, which is considered fine. Many people live healthy lives with a small amount of tricuspid regurgitation. We are so thankful that he didn't require open heart surgery (OHS).

I can only imagine how stressful that experience would be. Melissa at Moos Crossing blog, offers some open heart surgery advice. We offer good thoughts and prayers for a quick recovery to the little ones who need to undergo OHS.


To Love Endlessly said...

M going through heart surgery was probably the hardest thing we've experienced. BUT, the worst part was the anticipation and waiting on the surgeons to tell us she was out of surgery. She was discharged after 4 days and was a totally new baby. It was AMAZING the difference that surgery made to her little life. So the surgery completely sucked, but the benefits of the surgery are absolutely priceless.

Melissa said...

I'm embarrassed by how behind I am (you posted this a month ago!), but thanks for linking to me. Hopefully everyone's words of wisdom will be helpful for those undergoing surgery.