Imagine that you are a parent of a child with one (1) of the congenital heart defects illustrated in the videos. Conduct further research on this topic and write a 500 word essay that reflects how you might deal with your child’s treatment and care.
Coarctation of the Aorta
Congenital heart defects are defects of the heart and present at birth. Notably, the defects involve the valves of the heart, the walls of the heart, and the veins and arteries near the heart. This interrupts the normal flow of blood. According to the Center Of Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), there are about million children in the United States who are living with congenital heart defects (Nelson et al., 2019). The congenital heart defect which is the focus of this paper is coarctation of the aorta. This is the narrowing of aorta (the major artery) which causes high blood pressure or heart damage. This, essay, therefore reflects how to deal with treatment and care of a child who has coarctation of the aorta.
A successful treatment for coarctation of the aorta is exceedingly achievable; however, it requires individualized, expert care once detected, and dedicated management throughout life since without proper intervention the outcome of patients who have coarctation of the aorta is very poor. A study conducted by Nelson et al. (2019), reveals that 75 percent of the patients die at the age of 34. This asserts that although most children survive the disease, they are likely to die before the age of 34 years. This is because the disease presents with certain symptoms such as irritability, difficulty breathing and feeding, and high blood pressure, which are likely to cause the death of the patient. Some other severe symptoms include headaches, chest pain, muscle weakness, and nosebleeds.
There are certain important treatment procedures and care that are important in ensuring that infants with coarctation of the aorta survive. However, it is significant to note that treatment depends on the severity of the condition and the age of the patient. The first recommended treatment is Prostaglandin E1 (PGE1). Also known as alprostadil, this is a naturally occurring prostaglandin used by slow injection into a vein in order to open the ductus asteriosus. It enlarges the artery which allows for normal flow of blood. According to Dijkemaet al. (2017), this medication needs accurate dosage since higher dosage can cause low blood pressure which threatens the health of the patient.
Another important and widely used treatment method for coarctation of the aorta is surgery. Surgery follows the removal of the narrowed section of the aorta and rejoining the two ends, particularly when the coarctation is relatively small. This is known as end-to-end anastomosis and has been proved as the best surgical option for the condition. There are other bypass surgical options where grafts are stitched into the aorta to divert blood around the region of defect. In some cases, bypass is performed in combination with valve repair and replacement procedure.
While it is important to acknowledge medication and surgery, management of the disease is key to survival. According to study conducted by Nelson et al. (2019), after surgical treatment, the risk of recurrence is between 5 and 10 percent. Notably, the risk of recurrence is between 11 and 15 percent. Therefore management and close monitoring are significant for survival. The infant should be taken for regular hospital visit that include checking of blood pressure and other clinical examinations such as dopple ultrasound and MRI test.
Dijkema, E. J., Leiner, T., & Grotenhuis, H. B. (2017). Diagnosis, imaging and clinical management of aortic coarctation. Heart, 103(15), 1148-1155.
Nelson, J. S., Stone, M. L., & Gangemi, J. J. (2019). Coarctation of the aorta. In Critical heart disease in infants and children (pp. 551-564). Elsevier.