Dying During Delivery: Heart Failure Kills Moms-To-Be - NewsChannel5.com | Nashville News, Weather & Sports

Dying During Delivery: Heart Failure Kills Moms-To-Be

Posted: Updated:

CINCINNATI, Ohio, (Ivanhoe Newswire) - Finding out you're pregnant can be one of the most joyous times of a couple's life, but a potentially devastating disease affecting young, healthy women could take that all away. But there are some things that expectant mothers need to watch out for.

It's the call Dr. Stephanie Dunlap never wants to get.

"It's always my most anxious moment as a heart failure physician, because I have the chance to lose two patients instead of one," Dr. Stephanie Dunlap, Medical Director at the Heart Failure Program at the University of Cincinnati told Ivanhoe.

The moment that almost took Amanda Hodge's life at 28 and pregnant with her second child, something didn't feel right.

"Doctor after doctor kept saying, ‘you're pregnant honey, you're going to have swelling, you're going to have trouble breathing, you do get tired easy,'" Amanda Hodge, a woman who suffered heart failure at 28 told Ivanhoe.

At 24 weeks, her water broke. She was put on bed rest, and then three weeks later she underwent an emergency C-section, when her heart suddenly stopped beating. The cause? Peripartum cardiomyopathy, which is a form of heart failure that affects healthy women during the last months of pregnancy or up to five months after delivery. It happens in about one in every 3,500 pregnancies and 25 to 50 percent of affected women will die. Since the symptoms mimic pregnancy, it's often not diagnosed. But watch out if:

"You develop ankle swelling to the point you can stick your thumb in and leave a dimple that's two millimeters or more deep and you hear yourself wheezing and you're having to sit up at night to breathe," Dr. Dunlap said.

While Amanda's life was saved, baby Gideon Lew didn't make it. Now, Amanda wants to warn others about the condition.

"The fact that I'm here at all is an absolute miracle and I won't take that for granted," Amanda concluded.

Women who develop Peripartum Cardiomyopathy run a high risk of death with future pregnancies and doctors warn against trying to get pregnant again.

RESEARCH SUMMARY

HEART FAILURE AND PREGNANCY: Peripartum cardiomyopathy is a rare disorder in which a weakened heart is diagnosed within the final month of pregnancy or within 5 months after delivery. SOURCE: (www.clevelandclinicmeded.com); (www.mayoclinic.com); (www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmedhealth

CAUSES: Peripartum cardiomyopathy occurs when there is damage to the heart. As a result, the heart muscle becomes weak and cannot pump blood efficiently. Decreased heart function affects the lungs, liver, and other body systems.

Peripartum cardiomyopathy is a form of dilated cardiomyopathy in which no other cause of heart dysfunction (weakened heart) can be identified.

In the United States, peripartum cardiomyopathy complicates 1 in every 1,300 - 4,000 deliveries. It may occur in childbearing women of any age, but it is most common after age 30. SOURCE: (www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmedhealth)

SYMPTOMS: Symptoms are similar to those found in pregnancy: Fatigue, shortness of breath with activity and when laying flat, increased urination, a racing heart or palpitations, and swelling of the ankles.(www.mayoclinic.com)

PREVENTION: Since there is no known cause, prevention is difficult. The question of having additional children usually hinges on to what degree the mother has recovered from her peripartum cardiomyopathy.

IS IT SAFE TO HAVE MORE CHILDREN?:

The question of having additional children usually hinges on to what degree the mother has recovered from her peripartum cardiomyopathy.

  • If the heart does not completely recover its work capacity: Another pregnancy is generally not recommended. While there is no direct risk to the baby, going through an additional pregnancy with an abnormally functioning heart can cause additional heart damage for the mother, which could in turn harm the developing fetus.
  • If the heart has completely recovered from the previous pregnancy: An additional pregnancy can be attempted if the heart is periodically monitored with echocardiograms and stress tests. Echocardiograms check how the heart functions at rest and stress tests measure how the heart works under strain.

SOURCE: (www.hopkinsmedicine.org)

FOR MORE INFORMATION, CONTACT:

Katie Pence
Public Information Officer
University of Cincinnati Academic Health Center
(513) 558-4561
Katie.pence@uc.edu

  • Medical News HeadlinesMedical News HeadlinesMore>>

  • Drug To Prevent Alzheimer's

    Drug To Prevent Alzheimer's

    Tuesday, July 22 2014 5:15 PM EDT2014-07-22 21:15:05 GMT
    Everyone-- no matter if you are a man or woman, family history or not-- with a brain is at risk for Alzheimer’s disease. Age is the biggest risk factor and America is aging. Right now, dozens of research sites across the country are testing an experimental drug to see if it might prevent memory loss associated with this terrible disease.more>>
    Everyone-- no matter if you are a man or woman, family history or not-- with a brain is at risk for Alzheimer’s disease. Age is the biggest risk factor and America is aging. Right now, dozens of research sites across the country are testing an experimental drug to see if it might prevent memory loss associated with this terrible disease.more>>
  • Could Down Syndrome Be The Key To Alzheimer's?

    Could Down Syndrome Be The Key To Alzheimer's?

    Monday, July 21 2014 5:15 PM EDT2014-07-21 21:15:13 GMT
    More than five million Americans are living with Alzheimer’s. More than 400,000 of them also have Down syndrome. What does a condition seen at birth have in common with a disease typically diagnosed in the elderly? Quite a bit.more>>
    More than five million Americans are living with Alzheimer’s. More than 400,000 of them also have Down syndrome. What does a condition seen at birth have in common with a disease typically diagnosed in the elderly? Quite a bit.more>>
  • Extreme Workouts

    Extreme Workouts

    Friday, July 18 2014 6:04 PM EDT2014-07-18 22:04:23 GMT
    Workout routines have taken a tortuous turn. Running through mud and fighting in cages are just some of the latest extreme workouts, but one wrong move and you could be in trouble.more>>
    Workout routines have taken a tortuous turn. Running through mud and fighting in cages are just some of the latest extreme workouts, but one wrong move and you could be in trouble.more>>
  • Extreme Skin

    Extreme Skin

    Thursday, July 17 2014 5:15 PM EDT2014-07-17 21:15:05 GMT
    Last year, Americans underwent more than 11-million cosmetic procedures and spent nearly $12-billion on skin rejuvenation. Everyone wants their skin to look younger, healthier and better, but some are taking it to an extreme.more>>
    Last year, Americans underwent more than 11-million cosmetic procedures and spent nearly $12-billion on skin rejuvenation. Everyone wants their skin to look younger, healthier and better, but some are taking it to an extreme.more>>
  • Extreme Diets

    Extreme Diets

    Wednesday, July 16 2014 5:15 PM EDT2014-07-16 21:15:07 GMT
    Dieting is an American pastime. About 45-million of us diet each year, and we spend about $33-billion on weight-loss products. There are more ways to diet than ever and some are pretty extreme.more>>
    Dieting is an American pastime. About 45-million of us diet each year, and we spend about $33-billion on weight-loss products. There are more ways to diet than ever and some are pretty extreme.more>>
  • Frozen Lumpectomy For Prostate

    Frozen Lumpectomy For Prostate

    Tuesday, July 15 2014 5:15 PM EDT2014-07-15 21:15:08 GMT
    More than 230,000 men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer this year according to the American Cancer Society. In most cases, surgical removal of the gland is considered the gold standard of treatment, but results of a new study suggest a new treatment might benefit some patients.more>>
    More than 230,000 men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer this year according to the American Cancer Society. In most cases, surgical removal of the gland is considered the gold standard of treatment, but results of a new study suggest a new treatment might benefit some patients.more>>
  • Bariatric Surgery For Diabetes

    Bariatric Surgery For Diabetes

    Wednesday, July 9 2014 5:15 PM EDT2014-07-09 21:15:09 GMT
    Nearly 90 percent of people with type-two diabetes are obese and as more Americans gain weight, more will likely face a diabetes diagnosis. In fact, the American Diabetes Association predicts that one in three adults will have diabetes by the year 2050. For years, we’ve heard about weight loss surgery and its effect on diabetes. Now, a new study is showing how well the popular surgery is working to stop this serious disease.more>>
    Nearly 90 percent of people with type-two diabetes are obese and as more Americans gain weight, more will likely face a diabetes diagnosis. In fact, the American Diabetes Association predicts that one in three adults will have diabetes by the year 2050. For years, we’ve heard about weight loss surgery and its effect on diabetes. Now, a new study is showing how well the popular surgery is working to stop this serious disease.more>>
  • Ankle Replacement

    Ankle Replacement

    Tuesday, July 8 2014 5:15 PM EDT2014-07-08 21:15:10 GMT
    More than 50 million Americans suffer from some form of arthritis. Between 6 percent and 13 percent of them have ankle arthritis. These patients feel pain with every single step they take, but now ankle replacements are giving patients a new lease on life.more>>
    More than 50 million Americans suffer from some form of arthritis. Between 6 percent and 13 percent of them have ankle arthritis. These patients feel pain with every single step they take, but now ankle replacements are giving patients a new lease on life.more>>
  • 3D Knee

    3D Knee

    Monday, July 7 2014 5:15 PM EDT2014-07-07 21:15:09 GMT
    In the past ten years, the number of total knee replacements in the U.S. has doubled and many of those patients are much younger than ever before. Now, new technology allows doctors to make replacement knees that are the perfect fit.more>>
    In the past ten years, the number of total knee replacements in the U.S. has doubled and many of those patients are much younger than ever before. Now, new technology allows doctors to make replacement knees that are the perfect fit.more>>
  • Breath of Life for Heart Patients

    Breath of Life for Heart Patients

    Thursday, July 3 2014 6:20 PM EDT2014-07-03 22:20:13 GMT
    Heart failure, 5.7 million people in the U.S. have it and 55-thousand die from it each year. By definition, it means your heart cannot pump enough blood and oxygen to support all your other organs. Now, a simple breath test could make it easier and faster for doctors to diagnose.more>>
    Heart failure, 5.7 million people in the U.S. have it and 55-thousand die from it each year. By definition, it means your heart cannot pump enough blood and oxygen to support all your other organs. Now, a simple breath test could make it easier and faster for doctors to diagnose.more>>
Powered by WorldNow
Powered by WorldNow
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 NewsChannel 5 (WTVF-TV) and WorldNow. All Rights Reserved.
For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service.