Patent Ductus Arteriosus
Patent Ductus Arteriosus or PDA is a congenital heart disease. In general, a baby does not need the lungs to supply oxygen while he or she is in the mother’s womb. He or she can get the required oxygen for the heart from the mother through the placenta. All the unborn babies have the ductus arteriosus, which is a blood vessel that allows blood to flow from their pulmonary artery to their aorta. That ductus arteriosus generally closes within the first hour of birth, but in some cases, it remains open, and that condition is known as patent (open) ductus arteriosus.
Signs and Symptoms
The symptoms typically depend on the size of the ductus arteriosus and how much blood flow it consists. The newborn can have signs like
- Fast breathing
- Frequent respiratory infection
- Feeling of fatigue
- Poor growth
Causes and Risk Factors
Like all the other congenital heart diseases, this is also the cause of abnormal heart development before birth. However, the definite causes cannot be stated. In the premature babies, it takes more than the usual time to close the ductus arteriosus. The abnormal opening can cause too much blood to be circulated to the heart and the lungs of the baby.
Treatment and Management
In the case of preterm babies, the doctors prefer watchful waiting. If it is not closed normally, then the doctor may suggest medication for the baby. Apart from that open-heart surgery is also an option to repair that open duct.