Heart with a Hole Saves Little Girl Medical News and Health Information
Heart with a Hole Saves Little Girl -- Research SummaryBACKGROUND: Heart failure means the heart can't pump enough blood to meet the body's needs. As the pumping action is lost, blood may back up in other areas. Fluid builds up in the lungs, liver, gastrointestinal tract, arms and legs (congestive heart failure). Narrowed arteries in your heart or high blood pressure gradually leave your heart too weak or stiff to fill and pump efficiently. Many conditions that lead to heart failure can't be reversed, but can often be treated with good results. Lifestyle changes, such as exercising, reducing salt in your diet, managing stress, treating depression, and especially losing excess weight, can improve quality of life. The best way to prevent heart failure is to control risk factors such as coronary artery disease, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes or obesity. (http://www.mayoclinic.com/, http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/)
HEART TRANSPLANT: A heart transplant is surgery to remove a damaged or diseased heart and replace it with a healthy donor heart. Finding a donor heart can be difficult. The heart must be donated by someone who is brain-dead but still on life support. The donor heart must be matched as closely as possible to the damaged heart's tissue type to reduce the chance of rejection. A cut is made in the breastbone to access the heart. The patient's blood flows through a heart-lung bypass machine, while the surgeon works. The machine supplies the body with blood and oxygen while the heart is stopped .The diseased heart is removed and the donor heart is stitched in place. Tubes are inserted to drain air, fluid, and blood out of the chest for several days, allowing the lungs to fully re-expand. In some cases, the surgeon won't remove the old heart, but put the new heart on top of it. (http://www.nlm.nih.gov/)
ST.LOUIS CHILDREN’S HOSPITAL: SLCH is the pediatric teaching hospital for Washington University School of Medicine. Founded in 1879, it is the oldest pediatric hospital west of the Mississippi River and the seventh oldest in the United States.
Established in 1986, St. Louis Children's Hospital pediatric heart transplant program has given new life to more than 327 patients, ranging in age from 3 days to 22 years. It is one of the most active pediatric heart transplant programs in the United States, with patients coming from as far away as Florida, Minnesota and Texas. It is nationally recognized as a leading pediatric heart transplantation center, performing 20 to 30 heart transplants each year.
In addition to being the first to transplant a heart with a hole in it, SLCH was the first hospital in the state of Missouri to implant the Berlin heart, chosen as one of 12 pediatric transplant centers in the U.S. to participate in a study with Berlin heart and the FDA. SLCH also performed the first of three successful ABO-incompatible heart transplants in 2004 by transplanting organs to infants with an unmatched donor blood type. (http://www.stlouischildrens.org/) MORE
Heart with a Hole Saves Little Girl -- Research Summary | Medical News and Health Information
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