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Etymology: William J. Rashkind, American physician, 1922-1986; L, procedere, to go forth
the enlargement of an opening in the cardiac septum between the right and left atria. It is performed to relieve congestive heart failure in newborns with certain congenital heart defects by improving the oxygenation of the blood. The procedure allows more mixing between oxygenated blood from the lungs and systemic blood without the risk of surgery, sustaining life until the child is 2 to 3 years of age and a shunt can be created to carry systemic blood to the lungs. Before surgery a cardiac catheterization is done to pinpoint the defect. Under light general anesthesia, a deflated balloon is passed pervenously through the foramen ovale into the left atrium. The balloon is inflated and pulled across the septum to enlarge the opening. After surgery the infant is observed carefully for respiratory difficulty, signs of hypoxia, or decreasing cardiac output. Humidified oxygen is administered. Fluids and electrolytes are closely monitored. Also called balloon septostomy.
balloon atrial septostomyA procedure in which the formamen ovale—which communicates between the right and left atria in the foetus and normally closes shortly after birth—is expanded by a balloon to allow free mixing of blood. The procedure is performed in infants with (dextro-) transposition of the great arteries, a cyanotic congenital heart disease; it has also been used for pulmonary hypertension.
[William Rashkind, U.S. surgeon and pediatric cardiologist; d. 1986]Balloon atrial septostomy.