Patent Ductus Arteriosus (PDA)
Patent Ductus Arteriosus (PDA) is a congenital heart disease that occurs in newborns where the blood movement become obscure between the two main arteries – the aorta and pulmonary artery, both connected to the heart through a blood vessel called the ductus arteriosus. The problem occurs soon after the birth as the vessel doesn’t close its parts as it was supposed to in the baby’s circulation. The ductus arteriosus remains patent that allows the oxygen rich blood gets in contact with oxygen poor blood from the major arteries. This can lead to serious complications in the heart and increase blood pressure in the lung arteries.
How PDA can be diagnosed?
There are two distinct options widely used to treat PDA. Device closure of a PDA is the most commonly used method to diagnose the defect in older children and larger infants. However, when found in newborns and larger infants, surgical procedure is the most suitable option as they are considered safe these days.
Treatment of Patent Ductus Arteriosus (PDA)
The surgery to close a patent ductus arteriosus is performed by a cardio surgeon through a left thoracotomy from the ribs and the left back side as it is much easier than the front chest approach. After the PDA is detected, the surgeon normally clip or divide the PDA completely. The time spent in hospital care generally varies from patient’s health condition, however, premature babies may demand a prolonged hospitalization. Certain diagnostic tests such as echocardiography and electrocardiogram are performed to completely remove PDA while regular medications are prescribed by the surgeon to manage the blood flow.
What causes PDA?
There are many factors that are responsible for abnormality in blood flow from the heart throughout the lungs in newborns. Below are few of the reasons:
- Premature Birth: PDA mainly occurs in premature babies who are born ahead of their time.
- Genetic conditions: A family who has suffered a heart defect is more likely to have the same condition in the future.
- German Measles: Rubella or any other infection during pregnancy can cause defects in a child’s heart and circulatory system, that can damage the vessels and organs.
- High altitude birth: PDA is likely to occur in children who were born over 10,000 feet of altitude
There are many complications associated with Patent Ductus Arteriosus if not treated on time. These complications are as follows:
- Shortness of breath
- Heart Palpitations
- Pulmonary hypertension and increased blood pressure
- Bacterial infection or inflammation of heart
- Heart failure
- Birth issues
Post operative care
After the surgery, the child needs to spend some days in the hospital while the larger infants may leave for home after a couple of days. Follow up care includes
- Limited outdoor activities
- Regular appointments with doctor
- Thorough and timely prescription to be taken
- Healthy and nutritional diet to gain some weight quickly
- In very few cases, antibiotics need to be given to the child before certain medical procedures