Despite unexpected emer- gency cardiac surgery in the first few weeks of his life, Caden Paul is on track for a healthy future.
Transposition of the great arteries is a heart defect that occurs as the fetus grows. Scientists don’t know what causes the defect to develop, but certain factors do raise the risk of a baby being born with the condition: • A history of German measles (rubella) or another viral infection during pregnancy • A family history of transposition of the great arteries or another congenital heart defect • Poor nutrition during pregnancy • Alcohol consumption during pregnancy • A mother older than age 40 • A mother who has poorly con- trolled diabetes • Down syndrome in the baby RISK FACTORS FOR TRANSPOSITION OF THE GREAT ARTERIES
If an obstetrician suspects problems, prenatal echocardiograms can also be done. Dr. Onal notes that they aren’t quite as clear, but he adds that a major- ity of heart anomalies can be identified through their use. That may be a consideration if the Pauls decide to have another child, even though the risk factors for transposition of the
arteries were not present in Erin’s case. For now, they are just glad and grateful that the BirthPlace had the skilled staff to catch Caden’s problem and swiftly get him on the road to wellness.
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Naples Health | JANUARY-MARCH 2013
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