Overnight Samuel's heart rate, respiration rate and blood pressure increased, and his oxygen saturation decreased - suggesting something wasn't right. During the morning consultant's round, they explained to Shirley that as Samuel's condition is very rare, they needed to rule out heart complications. They ordered an ECG and a Heart Ultrasound as well as further blood tests. The ECG was a 5-minute procedure with Samuel wired up while sitting on Shirley's knee. The ultrasound took about an hour and showed three areas of concern. The very helpful Cardiac specialist drew the diagram on the left to illustrate what he found. The main problem is the ductus valve, which is open when in the womb enabling the blood to bypass the fluid-filled lungs.
After birth, this valve should shut and the ductus becomes redundant, however the scan showed that Samuel's ductus is still open and needs to be closed off. We are meeting with the cardiac consultant tomorrow to discuss the options to treat this and a few other minor heart anomalies that were also identified. Clearly this is a dissapointing development but the heart specialist did not consider it to be a major problem to rectify and would not require open heart surgery. Samuel's breathing difficulties may be linked to extra bloodflow around the lungs due to the heart anomalies identfied by the ultrasound and so it's hoped that by treating his heart, his breathing should improve as a result.
Shirley was at the hospital all day with Samuel and gave him his first hair wash, which also provided the opportunity for a photo without all his tubes. Due to the nurse being tied up with another baby, Shirley got to hold Samuel for 2 hours, as it takes 2 people to move him with all his lines. The girls came up after school and they enjoyed seeing him and were intrigued by the ultrasound machine and seeing Samuel's heart.