Save the PDA for high school, David.

Yesterday David started a new round of a medicine called indomethacin. He was treated with indomethacin immediately after birth. It’s used for neural protection. It’s also used to help with something called PDA (patent ductus arteriosus, (not public display of affection)), which is a common heart problem in premature babies. A valve is open in his heart that shouldn’t be open anymore. If he were still in the womb it would and should be open, but since he’s out it needs to be closed. When full term babies are born the first deep breath they take in has enough force to close this valve. David did not come out taking deep breaths of air and therefore this valve never closed.

His treatment ends this morning at 11am. He has been NPO the whole time (no idea what NPO stands for) but I do know what it means: no food during treatment. That means he hasn’t eaten since Wednesday night. He looks hungry to me. They will do another echo (heart ultrasound) this afternoon to determine whether the indomethacin worked.

They detected David’s open PDA by first hearing a murmur on Wednesday. As of yesterday, David’s murmur was significantly louder. At first I thought this was a bad thing. Doctor Suresh, who uses analogies to explain medical terms and procedures, said that if the murmur gets louder then the open PDA is most likely closing. He used the analogy of a wide river and a small brook. You do not hear the Connecticut river flowing because there is such a large passageway through which the water flows. You do, however, hear the babbling brook in your backyard, because the passage is small and therefore more turbulant. A louder murmur is potentially a result of a smaller passageway, a closing PDA.

His PDA could also have been the reason he started to struggle to breathe well on his own. As of last night he had been weaned off the pressure on his ventilator settings. If he can stay stable at room air (the oxygen level we breathe) with low breaths-per-minute he will come off the ventilator and be put back on his CPAP. We will find out all these results today.

                                                                                     For now, he says, just let me sleep.

J & G & D

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12 thoughts on “Save the PDA for high school, David.

  1. Thank you for the very informative update…….and the wonderful photos…….

    We think he looks just like Graham !!…..( handsome devil )…..

    With considerable affection………Karen & Murray

  2. From the pictures, it looks like David is putting on some weight and looks stronger. I love looking at his little hands–so precious!! Prayers for full recovery of the PDA and for David to be free of any respiratory distress will be offered for David and as always for his medical care providers as provide for him minute by minute.What a blessing they must be to you and you to them. He will be okay!!!

  3. We follow your updates daily. You are handling a tough situation with great strength and, as usual, with a wonderful sense of humor. David is going to be just fine. He is getting the best possible care.
    For what it is worth…NPO is latin for Nil Per Os (Nothing by mouth.)
    Love to all of you,
    Van & Ninnie

  4. Thanks for your beautiful updates. We check in every day for the news. He is one handsome little boy – loving his blond hair. You are all in our thoughts constantly. There is great love here for you. Hilary and Tom

  5. Love looking at the pictures. He is beautiful and I, too, was struck that he looks like his Dad. Of course, I’m not so sure that looking like him Mom might have been ever better! He couldn’t lose! Hope that today was a good day for all the Websters. Mary

  6. I love you Jane and Graham. I love you David. I can not stop thinking about the day I get to hold you and tell you stories about your Daddy. You have so much to learn about your awesome family. I can not wait to fill you in. I hope some how , some way you can feel my love. I love you, Aunt Maggie

  7. Jane! Pete’s sister Jenny had Doctor Ganesh as part of the team for her daughters (our twin nieces–who were born 9 weeks premature three years ago) … My in-laws said Jenny couldn’t have been happier with the doctors she had. I’m glad to hear you’re in the same hands! Hi-ho, David! Hope you get to eat something soon!

  8. My warmest wishes to Jane and Graham and baby David. Your notes are filled with such love and strength and awe at David’s life force,—it is evident how you three are pulling each other along every day. Lovely to think this tiny lad will grow up to fill his Dad’s shoes (and maybe write as well as Jane!).

    Sarah Meyers

  9. Hi Graham and Jane,
    I just got onto your blog for the first time. David looks great! What a guy! Korr has kept me up on the news but it’s great to see the pics.
    Keep up the good work!
    J-Dog

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