A Broken Heart

35,000 children are born with heart defects every year (American Heart Association)
Only 1% of those children have truncus arteriosus (many sources, including the Herma Heart Center where Turnip may be treated)
That means about 350 babies are born in the U.S. with the same condition as Turnip every year. (330 according to the Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report from jan 6, 2006)
Surgery usually happens at 6-12 weeks (EPA, page 4)
15-50% of children require another surgery within the next five years (i.b.i.d.)
All heart valves are replaced after 12 years(i.b.i.d.)
Newborns with truncus arteriosus stayed in the hospital for an average of 30 days during 2003 (CDC, table 2)
The hospital charges for this stay (not including lab tests and doctor fees) ran to $200,000 (CDC, table 2)
In a small study published in 1996, 6% of infants died before surgery and 10% died during surgery (EPA, page 4)
In a national survey, 20% of newborns with truncus arteriosus died in the hospital in 2003 (CDC, table 1)

Friday, January 20, 2017

Follow up visit #1

Things are looking good. Small boy is recovering well at home.

1. Small boy's chest is healing well. He's now allowed to take a bath, reach above his head, and wipe his own behind.
2. Small boy's lungs are doing better. He's not breathing so rapidly and his chest x-ray looks clear.
3. Blood pressure is normal: 100/60
4. His liver has gotten smaller (now only 4 cm below his ribs), the level of liver proteins in his blood is normal, and his weight has been stable. In conjunction with his improved findings, this means he can stop taking his diuretic.
5. His heart rate is still fairly low for a kid his age, but it gets higher when he's active and he has no symptoms.
6. His INR  (used to measure how much his blood is being thinned) continues to be at the right level. This means he doesn't need to get another blood draw to check it for a whole week.
7. He can return to school for part of the day starting next week if he and Papa feel up to it.

Next appointment: two weeks.

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