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Summer had a disorder called AVSD which stands for Atrium Ventrical Sepal defect

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Atrium       =        Atrium

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Ventrical   =        Ventrical

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Septal       =        wall

What does this mean?

The heart has a left- and a right lowerchamber and a left- and a right upperchamber. The blood that enters the right side of the heart is oxygen low which the heart pumps through the longue artery to the longues to get the oxygen there.
Then this oxygen rich blood is taken back to the left side af the heart where the heart pumps it again through the aorta back into the body so it can do it's work there making a full circle.

Summer and with her a lot of other Downys the septal which seperates the left and right side of the heart, isn't developed completely. The result of this is that the bloodstreams are mixed.(see the picture) Because of the higher pressure in the leftside of the heart, the blood gets pressed from the left side back into the right side. This results in a higher pressure to the longues. If this condition isn't fixed within a few months, the longues are permanently damaged. This disorder is made visible in an ultrasound.

Usually it's fixed between the age of 4 to 6 months. During this operation the surgeon closes the holes, one above and one below the valve. It's actually one hole which is divided by the valve. When closed in the right way, the heart can function normal again.

You can see ultrasounds of these heartdiseases and others on the site of  KUMC

Copyright 2001 Rob Breedeveld