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Infant heart problems

Infant heart problems

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Posted by Beth on September 26, 2000 at 14:54:55:

Hello all...I hope I am at the right message board for this because I have no clue where to ask questions otherwise.

My son is 7 months old. He was born 6 weeks premature after sudden and severe complications with my pregnancy (pre-ecclamspia, extremely high bp...etc.) all found hours before I went into labor. He weighed in at 4lbs 15 ozs and was sent home 2 days later as he seemed fine and not in need of the NICU.

When he was 9 days old, he started having serious problems. Jacob would sleep for 8-9 hours at a time, get up and eat for 10-15 minutes and go back to sleep, eventually he became failure to thrive since at 5 weeks old he weighed only 4lbs 7ozs because he wouldnt stay awake long enough to do anything more than eat enough to stay alive. He also had "Spells" where he would go totally unresponsive...no facial expression, movement, reaction to pain....all he did was breathe, but his color would change. He was admitted to the hospital, tested, and sent home with an apnea monitor with no answers for the cause. That was between March 2nd and April 22nd. During that time, he had many tests done. EEG's as his father is epileptic, blood tests for everything known, an ekg which turned up fine,an MRI which was fine, a barium swallow and was diagnosed with uncoordinated swallowing reflexes, and finally an upper GI and was diagnosed with acid reflux for which he was put on Zantac for. BUT, none of these things were an explanation for his spells and color changes. The doctor then told me not to worry as he hadnt quit breathing during these episodes. During this time, he also had MANY bradycardias, but again I was told not to worry about them...they were normal for a newborn, especially a premature one.

April 22nd, he quit breathing for 79 secs. and from then until approx the beginning of August...he quit breathing on a regular basis regardless of whether he was awake or sleeping, calm or excited. He spent a week in the Children's hospital where he had more tests done....ph probe for his stomache, full body xrays, catscan, 16 hour eeg and exam by Neurologists and still....they couldnt find a reason for it all, and I was told to go home, take CPR, and Pray. The apnea slowed down, then he started having spells again. The last one he had had was March 20th. Now, those are happening again frequently, along with Tachycardias.

Last Thursday, the monitor company d/l information from the monitor from the last 4 weeks and I was told Jake's heartrate has gone as high as 352 beats per minute! And all of these happened while he was in a very peaceful restful sleep! I called his pediatrician and she says that a heart defect would explain everything that has happened and had a 24 hour EKG done, during which, thank God, he did set of the Tachycardia alarm so hopefully they found something. She said that it made perfect sense why it wasnt caught before because this type of thing comes and goes at random. Unfortunately, I have to wait a WEEK for the results of the 24 ekg.

So now my question is this. Can someone explain some things about heart defects and their symptoms, and treatments? I have never had to deal with any of this as no one in my family has ever had serious problems like this, so I know next to nothing about this. His ped. has told me it's treatable with either meds or surgery depending on which defect it is...but what does that mean?

Thanks for taking the time to read this and for any help you could give me. I appreciate it.

Beth and Jacob


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