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Thursday, February 3, 2011


In December Charlotte had an appointment with the Pulmonary Hypertension Clinic at CHOP. I'm not linking to anything that describes Pulmonary Hypertension, because I have been severely warned and threatened that if I google the condition I will be scared and scarred for life. So you'll have to deal with my rather novice explanations today.

Basically, Pulmonary Hypertension is a condition that some preemies (or babies who have been on the ventilator for an extended period of time) develop where the pressure in the lungs is too high. This causes the heart to be a little too stressed and BAM! Bad things happen. Bad things such as dizziness, shortness of breath, inability to exert oneself, etc.

Excellent explanation, no?

Moving on. Charlotte does not technically have Pulmonary Hypertension (collective sigh of relief) but she does have the clinical manifestations of it (as CA's neonatologist would say, "Never trust a preemie"). At the appointment we asked how high CA's heart rate should be running, and he casually dismissed it as though there wasn't a limit for her heart rate.

All right. Works for me.

But not for Charlotte's Physical Therapist. So I called the office again today to get some sort of parameters so the therapist can work with CA and the Nurse Practitioner has a mini heart attack of her own when I tell her that when CA does her exercises, her heart rate can easily hit the 200's. I could hear her eyes popping out of her head when I told her that resting, Charlotte's heart rate sits at about 180.

What does all this mean? Miss Charlotte Amalie has won herself an increase in oxygen to 1/4 LPM all the time, with increases to 1 LPM when exercising, and next week we get to place a halter monitor which will check out her heart all day long.

Now, this isn't a huge deal to worry about-- we've had a million and two EKG's done as well as a few Echos and the structure of CA's heart is excellent. Yay for that. We just need to see if her high heart rate can (and should) be controlled by medicine.

If not, eh, we'll roll with it same as we are right now.

If yes, dose that baby up!

And those are the latest and greatest changes in our lives right now.

1 comment:

  1. Damn Tachycardia-- we battle with it around here too... although Eloise is outgrowing it and it just rears its ugly head with illness. Glad you have access to some crackerjack cardiologists at CHOP! YAY for excellent heart structure! Hopefully she can outgrow it...