Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Nate's Heart!

Nate's heart is classified as a Congenital Heart Defect - meaning it was not acquired, but rather he was born with it.


Early in a baby's development in utero (about 9 weeks gestation) the heart first forms in the shape of a tube. This tube bends and folds in on itself, creating the four heart chambers and the four heart valves. If the tube bends to the left instead of the right, the ventricles are reversed: the weaker, larger right ventricle grows on the heart's left side and pumps the blood to your body; and the stronger, smaller left ventricle grows on the right side of the heart and pumps blood to the lungs. Two of the heart valves "follow " the ventricles so they are also reversed: the mitral valve is on the right and the tricuspid valve is on the left. Although the two heart valves and the two great arteries (the pulmonary artery and the aorta) are transposed or exit from the "wrong" ventricle, the blood flows to the correct place because the ventricles are also reversed. That is why this heart defect is called "corrected" transposition.

That's the anatomy in a nutshell.... a very short and concise nutshell. I won't get into all the implications of leaky valves, and the 'electrical system' this time. Don't want your eyes to start glazing over! Too much information can lead to confusion...I speak from experience! It takes a bit to fully understand it!

Ready for a quiz now?!?

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