Birth defects under the scope

A top children’s hospital wants to improve the survival rate of infants born with a birth defect that many families have never heard of until their child is diagnosed.

ST. LOUIS — A top children’s hospital wants to improve the survival rate of infants born with a birth defect that many families have never heard of until their child is diagnosed.

Dr. Brad Warner, surgeon-in-chief of St. Louis Children’s Hospital, said Tuesday that he and others plan research to better understand the condition, known as CDH, or Congenital Diaphragmatic Hernia. One in 2,000 babies is diagnosed with the disease, doctors say. Half of those don’t live to their first birthday.

The condition occurs when the diaphragm, which separates the chest cavity from the abdomen, does not completely form in the womb. The contents of the belly migrate to the chest, which keeps the lungs from developing properly.

Eight babies at the St. Louis hospital died last year from the condition.

Doctors at St. Louis Children’s Hospital say they’re part of a national database registry to collect and track information on children with the condition.

They plan to recruit faculty candidates that are able to explore fetal surgery intervention and are working to collect DNA for analysis.

Treatment for the birth defect varies.

Many are stillborn. Babies who die from the birth defect usually have insufficient lung tissue to survive, or develop hypertension in the blood vessels of the lungs. Medications to lower blood pressure in the lungs lower the baby’s overall blood pressure, which can be problematic.

Of those who live, some are in distress from the moment the umbilical cord is clamped; others are OK for their initial hours of life, then get worse. A third group, which is the most uncommon, initially looks good, but later exhibits signs, such as bowel sounds in the chest, that reveal the condition.

In some cases, doctors have performed surgery on pregnant women and their fetuses to try to address problems before a baby is born, but those procedures have risks. Children with CDH can grow up to be healthy adults.

Doctors say they hope to better understand predictors of good and bad outcomes for babies with the condition, as well as how to address the many complications that can arise.

Just Posted

A former Red Deer opioid addict understands the community’s frustration

‘It’s a privilege and an honour to be an example of change,’ he says

New loonie reason to celebrate and educate: central Alberta LGBTQ community

The new LGBTQ2 loonie is a conversation starter and a reason to… Continue reading

Cenovus says Alberta production curtailments are working, reports Q1 profit

CALGARY — Cenovus Energy Inc. reported a profit of $110 million in… Continue reading

Montreal native Nicholas Latifi off to solid start on Formula 2 race circuit

Practice makes perfect for Canadian Nicholas Latifi. The 23-year-old Montreal auto racer… Continue reading

Bruins victory over Leafs ensures an American team will hoist the Stanley Cup

TORONTO — Many NHL players were either not yet born or too… Continue reading

Swole, buzzy, among new words in Merriam-Webster dictionary

BOSTON — Get swole, prepare a bug-out bag, grab a go-cup and… Continue reading

Garner graces cover of People’s annual ‘Beautiful Issue’

NEW YORK — Jennifer Garner graces the front of this year’s “Beautiful… Continue reading

Updated: Joshua Arthur Sanford has been found, says RCMP

37-year-old Ponoka man last seen on Tuesday morning

Inspired by a galaxy far, far away, these ‘Star Wars’ mementos could be yours forever

CHICAGO —The stuff of “Star Wars” —and there is unfortunately no better… Continue reading

Shoppers Drug Mart launches second online medical pot portal in Alberta

TORONTO — Medical cannabis users in Alberta can now get their therapeutic… Continue reading

Taylor Drive honours legacy of outstanding community volunteer

The main roadway going north and south on the west side of… Continue reading

Most Read