In a healthy heart, oxygen-poor or de-saturated blood returns to the right atrium from the body, flows to the right ventricle. Then it is pumped through the pulmonary artery into the lungs, where it becomes oxygen-rich or saturated. The saturated blood then returns to the left atrium from the lungs, passes into the left ventricle and then is pumped out to the rest of the body through the aorta (UofMMedical, 2013).
All babies are born with two structures in their heart that close a few days after birth. The first is a blood vessel that connects the pulmonary artery to the aorta, called a patent ductus arteriosus (PDA). The second is a patent foramen ovale (PFO) which is an opening in the wall between the left and right atria or the atrial septum (ChildrensMn.org 2013).
In a baby born with HLHS the left side of the heart is too small and weak to properly pump the saturated blood to the baby's body. This may not be a problem yet because the blood is not going into the poorly functioning left ventricle of the heart but is instead flowing through the PFO into the right atrium and ventricle. Then it is pumped into the pulmonary artery to the lungs and through the PDA to the aorta and the rest of the body. This means that the blood is mixed and the right side of the heart pumps this mixed blood to ...
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... 13). Cystic Fibrosis Therapies. Retrieved November 2013, from http://www.cff.org
Danielle Scotto, R. L. (2010, September). Cystic Fibrosis. Retrieved November 2013, from Kidshealth: kidshealth.org
Mayo Clinic Staff. (2012, August 24). Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome. Retrieved November 2013, from Mayo Clinic: http://www.mayoclinic.com
University of Michigan. (2012, September). Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome. Retrieved November 2013, from C.S. Mott Children's Hospital: http://www.mottchildren.org
University of Minnesota Medical Center. (2013). Your Child's Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome. Retrieved November 2013, from Univeristy of Minnesota Medical Center, Fairview Health Library: http://www.uofmmedicalcenter.org/healthlibrary
Wong, D. L., Hockenberry, M. J., & Wilson, D. (2011). Wong's Nursing Care of Infants and Children 9th ed. . St. Louis, MO: Elsevier Mosby.
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