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Patent Ductus Arteriosus In Premature Newborns


What is patent ductus arteriosus (PDA)?

PDA happens when a hole in a duct in your baby's heart does not close after birth as it should. The duct connects the pulmonary artery and the aorta in your baby's heart. This allows your baby to get oxygen from mom's blood circulation while he or she is in the womb. After birth, as your baby's lungs begin to work, the hole normally closes on its own.

How is PDA treated?

Your baby's healthcare providers may choose to delay closure of the hole for a period of time. This will allow time for your baby's lungs to develop completely and the hole to close on its own. Your baby may need any of the following:

  • Medicine to help close the PDA may be given to your baby by mouth or through your baby's IV line. Your baby may need to be given up to 3 doses of medicine within 3 days.
  • Surgery may be needed to close the PDA sooner if your baby is having breathing or heart problems. It may also be needed if the medicine does not help close the hole. The surgery may be done in an operating room or in the intensive care unit. An incision is made on your baby's left side near his or her left armpit. Then, your baby's healthcare provider will place a clip on the duct to close the hole in the vessel. The incision will be closed with stitches. Healthcare providers will do tests after the surgery to make sure the hole is closed.

What will happen after my baby's PDA is closed?

Your baby will stay in the hospital. Your baby's healthcare providers will continue to monitor any other health conditions your baby may have. You may notice that your baby may begin to eat more and gain weight. Your baby may not appear as tired as before.

Care Agreement

You have the right to help plan your baby's care. Learn about your baby's health condition and how it may be treated. Discuss treatment options with your baby's healthcare providers to decide what care you want for your baby. The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.

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Further information

Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.