Understanding Patent Ductus Arteriosus

Patent ductus arteriosus is a condition that normally affects the heart of the human being. Patent is a word that means open and that means that the condition is one that is associated with the opening of the blood vessel that is called ductus arteriosus. Usually what happens is that this vessel does not open as it should and therefore it has an effect on the general flow of blood from and to the heart. Usually this condition will basically be experienced in newly born children. It is a condition which in essence comes as a result of some abnormality in the vessel that carries blood to the baby. Before a baby is born, there is a vessel which usually carries blood and transports it between the baby’s heart and the lungs. Once the baby is born, this vessel is no longer important and it usually closes very rapidly, however in some cases this vessel does not close effectively and therefore it causes some complications in the movement of blood between the baby’s heart and the lungs.

Patent ductus arteriosus is very common among male babies than in female babies. The condition is more likely to affect infants that are premature and those who may have other heart complications. The condition can also affect babies whose mothers were suffering from rubella. It is not very easy to identify this condition if it is mild because there are no visible symptoms, however in some cases there are some very common symptoms that can easily be observed, these may include; fast breathing, sweating while feeding, shortness of breath, tiring easily, poor growth or poor formation of some basic human organs, and many more.

As was mentioned earlier Patent ductus arteriosus may not always be easy to identify and therefore sometimes the doctors cannot make any diagnosis until later on when the baby has grown a little. However in cases where diagnosis is made, the doctor may simply do it by observing the breathing patterns of the baby, the doctor may also use a stethoscope to listen for any heart murmur since those who have the condition always have a murmur. If this does not prove to be very efficient, the doctor may also take an x-ray and examine the situation a little more keenly, there is also a last resort which is usually the most efficient way of establishing the reality of the condition, and this is an echocardiogram test.

There are several ways of treating this condition including surgery that may be used to close the vessel. There may also be instances where the vessel closes on its own; this is usually very common in infants that were born prematurely. Other medical options are also available and may be used on the recommendation of experts.

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