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Single ventricle malformations are a group of congenital heart defects in which one of the heart’s pumping chambers (ventricles) develops improperly and cannot effectively circulate blood. In this video series, you'll learn how experts in the Fetal Heart Program at The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia diagnose and monitor single ventricle malformations before birth, allowing effective treatment to begin right after delivery.
Lynne Ramsay, Mother: When I was pregnant with Joseph we expected just to have another normal pregnancy-- normal child. And I went to find out if he was a boy or a girl and instead of finding out that, we also found out that he had a heart problem. That was very shocking after having had healthy boys before.
Anthony Ramsay, Father: We heard--it was just before Christmas. So it was, you know, it was a bad time. And, you know, I mean all of us, you know, everyone in the family pulled together.
Lynne Ramsay: It was very hard on me to be pregnant and to be that sad and scared and also to have my other two children to take care of when I had all that constantly in the back of my mind.
Thomas Spray, MD: All of heart surgery is 50 years old, and we've come from a situation of being able to treat nothing to being able to at least deal with most, if not the vast majority, of congenital heart defects in a way that allows children to grow into adulthood.
Jack Rychik, MD: We live in an era where there are very few things that we really can't take care of.
Thomas Spray, MD: And children with a heart defect born today, I am sure, are going to have a much better outcome at age 50 than somebody born 30 years ago.
Sarah Tabbutt, MD: It used to be we were just trying to get the babies to survive to discharge, and now we're really focusing on more than that. Now we're focusing on how to give the parents a better child to take home.
Thomas Spray, MD: And as things continually improve and as these children have issues when they get older, I have no doubt we will have ways to treat those issues. So I don't see any reason to be pessimistic about the long-term outlook for these children.
Contact the Fetal Heart Program for more information