The ductus arteriosus is a short blood vessel that connects the main blood vessel supplying the lungs to the aorta, the main blood vessel that leaves the heart. Its function in the unborn baby is to allow blood to bypass the lungs, because oxygen for the blood comes from the mother and not from breathing air. In full-term babies, the ductus arteriosus closes shortly after birth, but it frequently stays open in premature babies. When this happens, excess blood flows into the lungs and can cause breathing difficulties and sometimes heart failure. Patent ductus arteriosus (PDA) is often treated with a medication called indomethacin or ibuprofen, which is successful in closing the ductus arteriosus in more than 80% of infants requiring these medications. However, if medical therapy fails, then surgery may be required to close the ductus.
As expected, when Morgan Kate was born her PDA was open. She was treated with ibuprofen for ---several days, maybe even a week or two, and the PDA then closed.
Don't forget! Tomorrow is the day to Fight for Preemies and to blog about a baby you love. For more information, click here. I am going to try really, really hard, super hard in fact, to use a program called McLinky for tomorrow's post. From what I understand, it will allow you all to post links from my blog to yours. That way I can read what everyone else is writing and my visitors can also check out your posts. It will just be for tomorrow and if it all works out great then I may try it again sometime in the future. Be sure to check back tomorrow!
My camera has only been gone for about five days and I am lost. I keep getting up to go get it or trying to reach for it, but it's not there. I am so missing it! Yesterday MK and Travis were both wearing NY Giants shirts and it was so cute. I was dying to snap a shot and post it on the blog, but of course I could not. Maybe, just maybe, it will be back sooner than I think.