Home Remedies/Best Exercises For Patent Ductus Arteriosus

Preterm infants are at increased risk for patent ductus arteriosus, which is often associated with neonatal mortality and morbidity.(1)

In healthy full-term infants, the ductus arteriosus closes within 48 hours to 72 hours of birth.(1)

Home Remedies/Best Exercises For Patent Ductus Arteriosus

Home Remedies/Best Exercises For Patent Ductus Arteriosus

For most children with patent ductus arteriosus, it is important to prevent infections. Good oral hygiene, along with regular dental checkups, will help in preventing infections. Most children and adults with ductus arteriosus lead a normal life and can exercise and play like other children. It is, however, recommended to take your doctor’s advice about exercises/activities that are safe according to the need of your child.

A regular follow up with the medical professional is a must to prevent any complications related to your child’s condition. In some cases, a patent ductus arteriosus might be detected at a later age as an adult during routine checkups. The doctor will recommend you to a trained cardiologist to treat the condition. It is important to clear all queries regarding the defect and follow a healthy lifestyle to prevent any future complications.

Inform the doctor immediately if any symptoms unrelated to patent ductus arteriosus or any other heart defect. Keep yourself and the doctor informed on all vitamins or supplements your child is taking along with medications.(3)

The ductus arteriosus is a centrally placed vascular shunt that connects the pulmonary artery to the aorta. This shunt allows the oxygenated blood to bypass the uninflated fetal lungs from the placenta to enter into the systemic circulation. Once the infant is born, rapid closure of the ductus arteriosus takes place to transition into the vascular mature divided pattern of arteriovenous circulation. When the failure of ductus arteriosus closure takes place, then it results in a condition called Patent Ductus Arteriosus or PDA. It is mostly seen in premature infants where the ductus remains open until the age of 7 days in about 64% of the infants born in 27 to 28 weeks of the gestational period and 87% of infants born in the 24th week of gestation.(1)

Patent Ductus Arteriosus leads to extra blood flowing through the lungs. A large patent ductus arteriosus results in an excess flow of blood to the lungs, exerting pressure on the blood vessels and lungs by increasing workload. This can lead to fluid buildup in the lungs, making it harder for the infant to breathe and feed normally. The number of cases of patent ductus arteriosus reported in girls is twice the number of cases in boys.(2)

Management Of Patent Ductus Arteriosus

The symptoms might differ in various infants depending upon the size of the opening between the aorta and pulmonary artery. In some cases where the size of the opening or shunt is small, then he or she might not present any symptoms. But in the case of a large-sized opening, the common symptoms include:

  • Bluish discoloration of the skin (cyanosis) due to lack of oxygen.
  • Feeling tired throughout the day or extreme fatigue
  • Difficulty in breathing (rapid breathing)
  • Trouble while feeding
  • Recurrent infections
  • Poor weight gain
  • Trouble while performing day to day activities in older children.(2)

The management depends upon the age of the person being treated. In a premature infant, the patent ductus arteriosus will close on its own.

The doctor will closely monitor the child’s heart to ensure the open blood vessels are closing correctly. In full-term babies who have small openings without any symptoms and health problems, monitoring is all that is needed.(3)

Medications include the use of NSAIDs such as ibuprofen (Advil, infant Motrin) or indomethacin to help close a patent ductus arteriosus in premature babies. Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs help in blocking hormone-like chemicals in the body that keep the PDA open. Surgical intervention is required in children who present with severe complications in whom medications are not effective. The surgeon will repair the open duct using stitches or clips, and it usually takes a few weeks for the child to fully recover from heart surgery. Catheter procedures might be recommended in full-term babies, children, and adults to close the ductus arteriosus.(3)

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