Monday, September 30, 2013

My child has been diagnosed with a hole in the heart - ASD, what should I do?

Q: I have a 1 year old daughter who was diagnosed with an 4.3 mm "Ostium Secoundum ASD" on the 15th day of life. Now she is 1 year old and without any symptoms, what should I do? 
A: Ostium Secondum ASD is a relatively common birth defect. For a small size ASD like in your child, it does not require any specific treatment unless there are symptoms. I would suggest repeat ECHO at 1 year age (now) and then yearly ECHO till 4-5 years age. There is around 70 % chance that this will close or become less than 3 mm with no flow through the ASD. In this situation, the child is normal and does not require any further treatment / evaluation. If the ASD remains large or the child has symptoms (like irritability, increased sweating, difficulty feeding, weight loss etc.) then you need to get in touch with a pediatric cardiologist for further evaluation and specific treatment like a catheter device or surgery.
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