Pediatric Pulmonary Atresia
What is Pediatric Pulmonary Atresia?
Pulmonary atresia is a birth defect where the pulmonary valve that carries blood from the heart to the lungs doesn’t form during development and often requires medical attention soon after birth. In a healthy heart, the right side of the heart pumps blood into the lungs through the pulmonary artery. Then, the oxygen-rich blood flows back into the heart from the lungs and out toward the rest of the body. Without the pulmonary valve, oxygenated blood flows from the lungs through other openings that traditionally close during development or shortly after birth.
Blood Flow in a Healthy Heart
What are the different types of Pediatric Pulmonary Atresia?
Pulmonary atresia with an intact ventricular septum
The wall, or septum, between the ventricles (lower chambers of the heart) remains complete and intact.
Pulmonary atresia with a ventricular septal defect
A hole in the wall that separates the lower chambers lets blood flow into and out of the right-lower side.
What are the signs and symptoms of Pediatric Pulmonary Atresia?
Symptoms usually occur in the first few hours of life, but can appear within days. Symptoms include:
- Cyanosis (bluish discoloration of the skin, fingernails and mouth due to lack of oxygen)
- Fast breathing
- Fatigue (tiredness)
- Poor eating habits
- Shortness of breath
- Heart murmur