Patent Ductus Arteriosus (PDA)
The ductus arteriosus is the fetal vessel that connects the pulmonary artery (artery to the lung) to the aorta (main artery to the body’s organs, such as liver, kidney, etc.). PDA occurs when the ductus arteriosus does not close shortly after birth as it should. When the ductus arteriosus does not properly close after birth, it allows too much blood to flow into the lungs and makes it harder for the heart to pump blood into the kidneys, intestine and other organs. If left untreated, the PDA often causes heart and lung failure. Additionally, the other organs do not get the blood flow that they need. A PDA may be treated either with medication or surgery.
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