Patent Ductus Arteriosus (PDA)
Patent Ductus Arteriosus
Patent ductus arteriosus is also known as a PDA. The ductus arteriosus is a very small blood vessel that all people have before birth. Patent means open. If you have a PDA, this blood vessel stays open longer than it should. While inside the womb, the lungs are filled with fluid. The baby gets the oxygen from its mother. Blood flows through the PDA instead of going to the lungs. This blood vessel should close within a few minutes or days after a baby is born. Then, the blood will flow on its normal path to and from the lungs to get oxygen. If this blood vessel does not close, blood does not flow the right way as it leaves the heart. This may lead to serious problems.