The cardiologist did another ultrasound this morning, and he said that Hannah is doing better than she was before. The echo showed a tiny amount of improvement in the heart’s function. But he DID find something else that he hasn’t seen before. All babies are born with something called a PDA (not sure what it stands for). This is a blood vessel that connects the pulmonary artery with the aorta, and is used in the womb (circulation is different in the womb, since a baby’s oxygen comes from the placenta and not the lungs). This PDA usually disappears within a week of birth. He said that he doesn’t think this is the cause of Hannah’s heart condition, but if it’s big enough for blood to flow through, it could make her heart have to work harder to pump blood to the rest of her body.
Hannah’s heart rate today has been between 130 and 160, with a few spikes in the 190s when she gets irritated. Her ventilator has been decreased to 12 breaths per minute, and she usually breathes an additional 14-20 breaths per minute on her own (above what the ventilator is doing). All blood tests continue to come back excellent. She is getting 24cc’s of formula per hour, and the caloric intake of the formula has been increased. She was awake for quite a while earlier today, the longest we’ve seen her awake in one stretch. Her fluid intake is nice and balanced with her fluid output, and she is getting more “regular” (if ya know what I mean). Praise God for the poopy diaper!!!
Hannah is scheduled to undergo a heart cath at 9:00am tomorrow. While they are looking at her heart, they are going to monitor pressures, make sure everything is where it needs to be, and make absolutely sure they aren’t missing anything. They are also going to look closely at this PDA, and if they think it’s a problem, they can fix it right there in the cath lab. They may also do a biopsy of her heart if they don’t find anything out of the ordinary. Basically, while the heart cath is taking place, they will grab a tiny piece of heart tissue and examine it in a lab. This will provide them with more information about what could have possibly caused this condition in the first place, and that should give them a better idea of how to treat it.
There are some risks involved with a heart cath, but we believe that God has led the doctors to this decision for a reason. God’s presence is going to fill that room, guiding the cardiologist’s hand while this procedure is taking place. The cardiologist feels that there is more risk in not doing the heart cath rather than doing it, and is confident that everything will go smoothly.
Please pray that the heart cath goes perfectly as planned tomorrow, and that God will open the doctors’ eyes to see what the problem is!