Ductus arteriosus, a blood vessel that allows blood to flow around babies lungs before birth and as soon as the baby takes birth the ductus arteriosus is no longer needed, so it gets close within a couple of days. The word patent means ‘being open’ so Patent Ductus Arteriosus or PDA is a condition in which closure of ductus arteriosus does not take place, thus leading to abnormal blood flow between two major blood vessels and also throughout the body
The condition of Patent ductus arteriosus mainly takes place in girls than boys. It is a very common disorder found in premature babies, and also in babies having neonatal respiratory distress syndrome. This can also occur in babies with Down syndrome and in case the mother suffers rubella during pregnancy then the infant have a high probability of having patent ductus arteriosus condition after birth. Babies suffering from congenital heart problems get this disorder very commonly. If the ductus arteriosus does not get close then it may miss out essential steps of blood circulation in the body of babies.
The diagnosis of patent ductus arteriosus is done by paediatrics expert by testing the heart beats of both the mother and the child with the help of stesthoscope, if the doctor suspect any abnormalities then he or she suggest for more tests, which includes echocardiogram, chest x-ray, electrocardiogram. Further progression of the treatments depends on the the results of the tests.
The treatment of patent ductus arteriosus starts with simple diagnosis and checking of heartbeat by stethoscope. Abnormal beating of heart leads to further graphical studies done by electrocardiogram, echocardiogram, x-ray of chest. Then if the doctor gets a prominent result of the abnormalities due to opening of ductis arteriosus then he/she recommend the patient for further treatment .
The symptoms that occur very commonly in the babies due to patent ductus arteriosus includes poor weight gain, tiredness while feeding, rapid breathing, fatigue, sweating vigorously, loss of interest in feeding. The child also gets difficulties in breathing due to the hole that forms in his or her heart on opening of ductus arteriosus.
In some cases if the size of the patent ductus arteriosus is very small then the expert physician tries to go for a recovery by medications at first. The treatment od patent ductus arteriosus depends on the size of the whole created by its opening. To determine the size of the opening radiography is done. To visualize the aortic end of the patent ductus arteriosus two dimensional echocardiography is done. To get a confirm image og arterial enlargement and ventricular hypertrophy electrocardiography is done. To observe other cardiac congenital malformations cardiac catheterization is done. To determine the intracardiac anatomy selective angiography is done.
The treatment of patent ductus arteriosus is done to new born babies or premature babies who take birth with the condition of open ductus arteriosus. Generally, if the ductus arteriosus does not get close after birth or within two - three days after birth then this condition arises, thus creating various problems related to blood circulation abnormalities and breathing issues.
Infants or newborns who are born normally i.e. without the condition of ductus arteriosus are not eligible for the treatment. As this is a condition found only newborn babies so elders does not need to go for the treatment of this disease.
Most of the cases of patent ductus arteriosus are soon treated after birth. Nowadays it is very unusual for babies remaining undetected for patent ductus arteriosus, and if this takes place then there can be several health issues that may leads to various difficulties in near future.
Undetected patent ductus arteriosus may leads to various side effects which include shortness of breathing, pulmonary hypertension, raised blood pressure, heart palpitations, endocardities or inflammation of the lining of the heart due to bacterial infections.
In various cases where the patient remain untreated may get extra blood flow which leads to increasing size of the heart, weakening of heart muscles, decrease in ability of blood pumping. These problems lead to congestion in breathing, heart failure and death.
The condition of petent ductus arteriosus leads to various problems related to blood flow, blood pressure, heart issues, feeding and breathing. Thus the patient should be kept in intensive care as soon as the surgerical treatment is done. Proper medications should be given to the patient. Proper rest and sleep is needed to get quick recovery. Care and concern should be taken throughout the treatment period unless the patient gets fully recovered.
Patent ductus arteriosus is a condition that takes a prolonged time to get recover quickly in some patients. In case of newborn babies who need to go for a major surgery, doctors suggest to have a watchful wait for the child to grow a little to handle his/her treatment of surgery. Therefore the time of recovery varies from patient to patient as per the intensity of the problem.
The cost of the treatment varies with the intensity of the problem, the more the problem arises the more time the patient needs to go for a diagnosis. In India the cost of doctor's consultancy lies within Rs. 250 – Rs 750. Medication fees lies within Rs. 500 – Rs. 1000. If surgical treatment takes place then the cost may gets higher including the cost of all the tests required, and it may grow up to Rs. 75,000 and more.
The result of the treatment is permanent in most of the cases and in some of the problems remains to effect for too long. In some cases when the condition becomes very serious and the patient become unable to survive. Therefore detection of the condition of patent ductus arteriosus is very much important in every new born child to avoid unwanted circumstances.
Alternatives of this treatment mainly involves medications. A premature baby can be given a drug named as indomethacin, which helps in closure of the ductus arteriosus. This medication is applicable for newborn babies only and for children and older infants other treatments might be necessary.