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There are many ways you can help children and their families get the care they need.
Having identified your child's heart condition, we're able to begin the process of treating him, so that we may ultimately return him to good health.
Specific treatments for tricuspid atresia depend on the extent of the disease and other variables. Most likely, he will be admitted to Boston Children's Hospital's intensive care unit (ICU) or special care nursery. Initially, your child may be placed on oxygen or a ventilator to help him breathe, and IV (intravenous) medications may be given to help his heart and lungs function more efficiently.
Once he's stabilized, your baby's treatments will probably include:
Babies usually remain cyanotic after the first two operations and until the final (Fontan) operation is performed. After the Fontan procedure, you can expect your child's oxygen levels to improve. In fact, many children experience major improvements in growth and development after Fontan, eventually catching up to other children.
After each operation, your child will need to be followed by a pediatric cardiologist who will adjust your child's medications, measure his oxygen levels and determine when it's time for the next operation.
Your child's cardiologist will also offer recommendations for post-operative follow-up care, including:
As your baby recovers and grows, be sure to follow a regular program of well-baby/well-child checkups. And to the greatest extent possible, encourage your child to live normally. Even if some physical activities are limited, your child and your family can enjoy a full life together.
An infant with single ventricle anatomy needs support with shunt-dependent blood flow between his Stage I and Stage II surgical repairs (see surgery descriptions above on this page).
The results of the Stage I surgery have improved—with nearly 90% of infants who are cared for in experienced centers discharged home after the first stage. So we can now focus new attention on reducing the known mortality of 10 to15 percent for these infants between their Stage I and Stage II surgical repairs.
Research shows the vital importance of a Home Monitoring Program, including daily at-home assessments of oxygen saturations and weight between the Stage I and Stage II surgeries.
Checking your baby's daily weight:
During this period between the Stage I and Stage II surgeries, your child's pediatric cardiologist and pediatrician will be in close contact with you as your child's primary home caregiver. (After your child's Stage II repair, this intensive level of home monitoring will no longer be necessary.)
In Boston Children's Home Monitoring Program:
Surgical techniques for TA and its associated defects are continually being refined, with long-term outcomes continually improving. Nevertheless, TA patients will need lifelong monitoring and medication, since they will always be at some risk for arrhythmias, infections, heart failure or stroke.
Your cardiologist will help you create a long-term care program as your baby grows into childhood, the teen tears and even adulthood. Most people who've has congenital heart disease repair will have an ongoing relationship with their cardiologist. We'll prevent and treat complications, and will advise on daily-life issues, such as activity levels, nutrition and precautions related to pregnancy.
At Boston Children's, we understand that a hospital visit can be difficult, and sometimes overwhelming. So, we offer many amenities to make your child's—and your own—hospital experience as pleasant as possible. Visit The Center for Families for all you need to know about:
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We are grateful to have been ranked #1 on U.S. News & World Report's list of the best children's hospitals in the nation for the third year in a row, an honor we could not have achieved without the patients and families who inspire us to do our very best for them. Thanks to you, Boston Children's is a place where we can write the greatest children's stories ever told.”