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Aurora magazine

Congenital diaphragmatic hernia: symptoms and causes

Congenital diaphragmatic hernia is an anomaly that affects about 1 child every 2,500 to 3,500 live births. It is not a hereditary illness except in very rare cases and in 3-5% of cases it is associated with chromosomal alterations. Prenatal diagnosis takes place around the 3rd month of gestation. The abnormality can be resolved surgically, with a survival rate of 70-75%.

In the first weeks of abdominal and chest development are related. Under normal conditions, communication closes by the end of the first quarter. Instead, the person who suffers it has the diaphragm open on the left, on the right or on both sides. This causes the passage of viscera from the abdomen to the chest, removing the lungs and hindering its development. The cause of this deficit in development is still unknown.

The anomaly can be detected by prenatal routine screening tests. Second-quarter ultrasound is usually enough to highlight the problem. In these cases, the heart is in fact displaced by the viscera, which makes it possible to identify the problem even without seeing the actual hole. Once the diagnosis has been made, the doctor checks every 3-4 weeks to check that the fetus is well. As you prepare a strategy to deal with the anomaly.

In some cases prenatal diagnosis does not occur and congenital diaphragmatic hernia manifests itself after childbirth. The child suffers from respiratory crises and the radiograph shows the presence of the viscera in the chest. However, there are subjects with such blurred symptoms to cause late diagnosis, perhaps random.
If there is a prenatal diagnosis, the best thing is that it is born and scheduled. This ensures the presence of a team of specialists, ready to intervene in case of complications. Doctors keep the baby under control and check the amount of oxygen the child needs. Once this achieves some stability, usually after 48 hours of life, they intervene surgically.

The intervention is used to reposition the organs and close the diaphragm. In most cases, once the baby is raised, the baby has a good respiratory function. The lungs develop almost normally and the baby can live like everyone else. There is, however, the risk that hearing and skeletal problems develop.