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Persistent Ductus Arteriosus in Ill and Premature Babies
  1. David J. Girling,
  2. Katherine A. Hallidie-Smith


    Thirty-eight ill and premature babies with a diagnosis of persistent ductus arteriosus (PDA) are described. All were patients in the Neonatal Unit of Hammersmith Hospital. 16 of them, who were born during a year in which all babies in the Unit were examined repeatedly and specifically for clinical evidence of PDA, have been compared to a control group in respect of sex, gestational age, weight for dates, birth asphyxia, and respiratory distress.

    It is concluded that PDA in this selected group of babies was significantly associated with female sex and respiratory distress but not with gestational age, weight for dates, or birth asphyxia.

    Though in these babies clinical evidence of PDA often persisted for several weeks, closure was spontaneous in the great majority.

    Five babies developed heart failure and 4 of these responded well to medical treatment. It is suggested that in view of the frequency of spontaneous closure there is no indication to administer oxygen-enriched air to premature babies solely for the purpose of encouraging their ductuses to close.

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