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New born suffering from down syndrome, swelling in right side of the heart, difficulty breathing. Treatment options?

My niece was born yesterday and they think she may have down syndrome . she inhaled some of her poo during labour and was put in icu . Now they have said the right side of her heart is swollen and it was difficult for her to breath, he oxygen levels are back up but what does it mean to have a swollen right side heart? and what would be done to fix it? thanks
Asked On : Wed, 20 Jun 2012
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Pediatrician 's  Response
Hello aunt,
If the hospital is capable of picking up down syndrome on day one means you are at the right place.
If the baby inside the uterus has any stress, it may pass motion into the amniotic fluid, if aspirated can cause problems. To manage them the child has been correctly admitted in the ICU.
As you know heart has left and right sides: Right side receives venous blood from various parts of the body ( which is less in oxygen ) and pumps it to the lungs for oxygenation.
From the lungs it will return to the left side, to be circulated to other parts of the body .
Now when the lungs have problems, like aspirated meconium, oxygenation may not be normal. So the heart has to over work, and become 'tired' in the process. The function of the right heart, pumping venous blood into the lungs comes down. resulting in fluid accumulation. This for easy understanding they have told as swollen heart.
If the basic condition is treated then heart function will become normal. Several children have been born like this throughout the world. Generally they recover. We must thank the ICU people managing small babies. They work very hard and are very passionate about their work, and they love children.
with regards
Answered: Wed, 20 Jun 2012
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