Monday, January 23, 2006

Childhood Heart Repairs May Not Last - Yahoo! News

Childhood Heart Repairs May Not Last - Yahoo! News: "Only recently have enough of the early survivors reached adulthood for doctors to notice a disturbing trend: Starting about 20 years after childhood surgery, the risk for some serious problems — irregular heartbeats, enlarged hearts, heart failure, occasionally even sudden death — begins to rise among people who had complex defects repaired."

This story stopped me cold. I was one of those kids who had heart repair as a child and I am now way into adulthood. But as I read the article, I don't know if I fall into the class of people who had 'complex defects repaired'. I had a hole in my heart which was patched. That patch is and has been for many a year - scar tissue. As I read this article I'm seeing people with value repairs under discussion. I'm reading about those people who I remember hearing about, so called blue babies who when I had my surgery would die. Nothing could be done for them when I was a small child waiting for a surgery in a hospital, in and among the various children with heart problems. The article also says that those kids, those 'blue babies' were having successful heart valve repairs starting in the 70's and it is those kids who are now having the 'statictically significant' instances of heart problems now. Wow. It's something that needs to be addressed but as the article notes, many of those children are now adults without the health care of their parents and unwilling and unable to have any cardiologist care. I know the next time I get to the doctor I'm going to bring this up and have a cardiologist give my heart a listen. Wow.


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