Friday, October 23, 2009

Cardiac Exam

Yesterday Steven was seen by a Dr. Womack--I believe from Boise--who came down to our neck of the woods for a couple days. During Steven's initial physical exam his primary doc had heard a murmur and suggested further examination by a specialist. Apparently about 50% of children with DS have some kind of heart condition from very mild to quite extensive.

So yesterday was the appointed time. This doctor was very nice, very 'kid-friendly', if you know what I mean. He looked at Steven's overall condition (warm and pink and growing and healthy), asked about his energy level (just fine, I assure you), listened to his heart, felt his pulses and then led us clear across the hospital to the heart lab. For those of you who are heart experts due to experience with your children, please forgive me that I don't know the actual name of the procedure done. Steven just had to take off his shirt and lay on a warm blanket on the stretcher. Then "Gordon" (the lab guy) let Steven hold the transducer (I assume that's what it is because the machine was quite similar to what it used for a fetal sonogram) and put it on his own chest with that lovely cold gooey gel. Of course, Gordon took over the controls from there. I was so fascinated with the moving 3-D images on the screen and Gordon was great to point out the atria, ventricles, various valves, aorta, cardiac arteries, hepatic arteries, aorta, descending aorta. He could also change the settings so colors would show on the screen--I believe the red was blood flow toward the transducer and blue was blood flow away from the transducer? (I could have that backwards) With that setting he could tell whether any blood was leaking back through a valve or coming through the walls in the heart. You could also hear and see the heart rhythm as he examined various views of the heart. He did see a TINY bit of leakage at a couple valves but the end result was that Steven's heart is structurally and functionally normal and he will not need to see a cardiac specialist again. Cool!!


Lyndi said...

That is definately good news!

Lou said...

Great news!!! Hey, that's Mattea's new cardiologist! He's a great guy and did you know that he goes on mission trips to South America to help the kids down there?!