Making Diagnosis Easier With Pulse Oximetry

With an overnight pulse oximetry testing, not only is it determined whether a patient is suffering from any sort of heart defect it also helps with determining the certain kinds of defect the patient is suffering from. Congenital heart defect exists at birth and can be affectively treated if diagnosed at birth.

What are Congenital Heart Defects?
A congenital heart defect is a birth defect in which the heart of a newborn is not properly formed. The structure of the heart is imperfect and deformed. Mostly the valves, walls or arteries of the heart are not in their right position or developed as it should be and leads to various acute and critical heart conditions.

Pulse Oximetry helps determine the condition in newborns without any invasive testing and even assists the expert medical practitioners in detecting the following kinds of critical congenital heart diseases.

Following are the critical congenital heart defects which can be detected with an overnight pulse oximetry testing:

Tricuspid Atresia:
Tricuspid Atresia is a heart condition in which the two separate arteries for blood circulation are absent; in its place is only one large artery. Albeit very rare and uncommon, this heart anomaly leads to critical condition of patients. With only one artery present, the path to blood circulation is not established and either the body receives the blood or the lungs and in either case it causes grave condition of the patients. If left undiagnosed and untreated it increases the possibility of heart failure very early in life.

Tetralogy of Fallot
Tetralogy of Fallot is a set of four structural defects found in the heart at birth. These defects include holes in the lower chambers of the heart; the protective muscle around the heart is thicker than it should be, the aorta is situated right above the holes and there is a blockage between the heart and the blood. These defects lead to insufficient supply of blood in the body and the patient often has a blue tinge to them.

Pulmonary Atresia:
This heart defect is found in the pulmonary valve, it is almost absent. A lack of pulmonary valve makes it difficult for the blood to flow from the lower right chamber of the heart to the lungs.

Dextro transposition of the Great Arteries:
D-transportation of the great arteries is a birth defect in which the normal routine of blood transportation from body to the heart to the lungs to the heart again is completely impaired. This causes reverse flow of blood and causes deoxygenated blood to flow in the body.

Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome:
Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome is another critical congenital heart defect in which the baby is unable to develop the left side of the heart properly and ends up with a small aorta and left ventricle as well as holes in the artery and septum.

There are a number of heart diseases that can be detected with the help of pulse oximetry testing. These heart conditions are very acute in nature and need to be diagnosed as early as possible. While these conditions cannot be eliminated, treating them early can help save lives.