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Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Today's News

Remember how we said that she was doing really well post-op? Scratch that.

Image via WikipediaSource: http://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health/dci/Di...

While talking to the doctor today he told us the following:

*Charlotte Amalie's heart had to work a lot harder than any of us had imagined while the duct was open. This caused her heart to become enlarged, which resulted in heart failure.

*Luckily, in neonates (infants), this heart failure is reversible. If an adult had experienced this kind of damage to their heart, it would take years to recover, if ever. But CA should recover in about a week. That's only a few days vs years. We'll take it.

*Instead of the heart only pumping blood into the circulatory system, the PDA allowed blood to be pumped through two different pathways-- one through the circulatory system (Like in a normal body) and one "backwards" through the PDA into the lungs. Because of the circulatory system's inherent blood pressure, the path through the PDA was much easier to flow through. This caused her lungs to become full of fluid. Now that the PDA is closed, blood is only being pumped to the body through the circulatory system and is not flowing "backwards" into the lungs.

*Even though the backwards flow of blood into the lungs has been stopped, her lungs are still full of fluid, which increases the amount of effort required for CA to breathe. Currently, she has been given some medication to essentially paralyze her so that she won't "fight" the vent. This makes it easier for the doctors and nurses to control her breathing.

*Because the PDA Ligation closed off a pathway that blood had previously been traveling through, her blood pressure has been affected. Normally, closing the PDA would increase blood pressure, and it did for a short while. However, because CA's heart is failing, her blood pressure is now extremely low. She is currently being treated with dopamine, which makes her heart contract harder with each beat and epinephrine, which constricts blood vessels-- all to help increase her blood pressure.

In other news, Charlotte Amalie's chest tube was removed today, she had an arterial line placed in her arm and she had another blood transfusion.
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  1. We are thinking about you guys. We wish we were closer so we could help out. Hang in there!

  2. ah man. no bueno. i'm sorry! one thing these kids are is resilient. it's amazing what they can survive that healthy functioning adults couldn't. keeping you in our prayers.

  3. she is amazingly resilient Amanda. I just have to keep thinking that there are some serious angels watching over her in that NICU.

    Modern medicine is also, quite incredible.

    thanks for the update. Prayers continue