Pediatric Heart Expert Forum
fontan after infant heart attack
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Questions in this forum are answered by pediatric cardiologists, cardiothoracic surgeons and anesthesiologists from The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia. This forum is for questions and support about pediatric heart problems, symptoms and topics such as heart murmurs, palpitations, fainting, chest pain, congenital heart defects (including management and intervention), fetal cardiology, adult congenital cardiology, arrhythmias and pre-participation athletic screening.

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fontan after infant heart attack

I have a question, my niece is a week old and suffered a massive heart attack at birth due to a blood clot. The past week was spent hoping the 7 day window would allow the heart to heal. There has been some blood flow through the left ventricle, but it is not pumping. The right ventricle is working fine.

Do you know if the Fontan procedure has ever been attempted in a case similar to this? Apparently this situation is very rare.
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So sorry to hear of the serious condition of your niece.  With regards to a Fontan operation, that is the final step in a staged set of operations to redirect flow of blue blood to the lungs and red blood to the body in patients with a single pumping chamber.  It is usually performed in children who are several years old, after one or two staging operations.  It is mandatory that the child have good pumping function of their single ventricle. If your niece suffered a serious clotting event, then she needs to be evaluated for hereditary clotting disorders.  If that is the case, it makes her even more high risk for any type of heart surgery.  Not knowing what the current state of your niece's support is, I cannot predict her likelihood of surviving this initial catastrophic event.  This certainly would be a scenario where listing her to receive a heart transplant might be considered, if that is a potential option in your country.  
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Jeffrey R Boris, M.D.Blank
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