Monday, January 26, 2009

Moms having cardiac arrest increases

It's a medical mystery.. a type of heart failure that can kill a woman just after giving birth. This is really scary. The warning signs are so vague and there's no way to tell who might be at risk. The woman in the story below already had one labor and delivery with no problems. Why were things different with the second child? I am going to forward this story to friends and family! It's just not something you think about when you have a newborn at home.

From ABC: This heart attack that impacts women after giving birth strikes as many as 3,000 new mothers every year and perhaps most frightening: the symptoms, such as fatigue, are so common to new mothers, they are usually missed.

She had just given birth to her second child two months earlier, so Tanya Ginther thought it only natural to feel tired and out of breath. But packing the car in the garage, Tanya collapsed. She had gone into cardiac arrest. Her husband, Mike, called 9-1-1 and for next 16 minutes performed CPR on his wife.

(9-1-1 call) "Come on, god damn it! (Bleep) Come on! There you go! There you go, honey. Breathe, girl! Breathe!"

At the Bismarck, North Dakota hospital, her heart stopped again and again. And each time, doctors had to shock it back to life. Tanya was suffering from that mysterious condition called "peripartum cardiomyopathy".

(Dr. Sharonne Hayes) (Mayo Clinic) "The heart muscle weakens in the last months of pregnancy. We don't know what causes it. It could be inflammation, or a virus, or the changes in hormones ." Doctors predicted Tanya wouldn't not survive more than a day or two. Her only hope was to get to a major medical center hundreds of miles away to get a heart pump.

But inside this air ambulance, at 30-thousand feet her heart failed yet again. (Tim Alden) (Mayo Clinic air nurse) "She arrested and we had to shock her heart back into rhythm . But for about 45 minutes there in the flight we were holding our breath." By the time she reached the Mayo Clinic... her organs were shutting down from lack of blood. Doctors said was now too sick to have the heart pump surgery. (Mike Ginther) (husband) "They said, 'we're sorry, but she's going."

Surprisingly, Tanya's condition then improved ever so slightly enough at least to get that heart pump. And with each passing day, and the help of that pump, her heart gained strength. Within a month she was back home and the pump was soon disconnected. Doctors now say Tanya's story should be a warning to any new mother.

(Dr. Sharonne Hayes) (Mayo Clinic) "If you're really short of breath, or light-headed, or you continue to swell you need to see a doctor." (Tanya) "Don't feel like you're overreacting. When it comes to your heart and your life you can't overreact." Not with so much at stake.

-NewsAnchorMom Jen

Don't forget to check out the TOT SPOT's big sale! 30% New, 40% gently worn and 50% Christmas clothing! Sales ends this Saturday. 3420 North Willow Knolls Drive, Peoria, between Kohl's and Coldwell Banker Realty.


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