What is tetralogy of Fallot – the disorder Jimmy Kimmel's son has?

Published: Tuesday, May 02, 2017 @ 10:12 AM

Jimmy Kimmel (L) and his wife, screenwriter Molly McNearney attend the premiere of Paramount Pictures'
Jimmy Kimmel (L) and his wife, screenwriter Molly McNearney attend the premiere of Paramount Pictures' "Office Christmas Party" at Regency Village Theatre on December 7, 2016 in Westwood, California. (Photo by Matt Winkelmeyer/Getty Images)(Matt Winkelmeyer/Getty Images)

On Monday, late-night talk show host Jimmy Kimmel told viewers in an emotional monologue that his newborn son had been diagnosed with a heart defect and underwent open heart surgery.

Kimmel said his son Billy, born on April 21, was discovered to have a disorder called tetralogy of Fallot (teh-TRAL-uh-jee of fuh-LOW), a congenital (meaning present at birth) disorder where the wall that separates the two sides of the heart is missing. 

Kimmel said his son had surgery last Monday and is now home recovering. 

Here’s a look at tetralogy of Fallot and pulmonary atresia, the other problem Kimmel said his son is suffering from.

What was Kimmel’s son diagnosed with?
The disorder is called tetralogy of Fallot. It is a rare condition – only about 5 children out of 10,000 are diagnosed with it each year.

What is it?
The disorder happens because of a structural problem with the heart. Tetralogy of Fallot is caused by a combination of four heart defects that are present at birth.

What are the defects?

According to the Centers for Disease and Control, the defects are:

1. A hole in the wall between the two lower chamber – or ventricles – of the heart. This condition also is called a ventricular septal defect.

2. A narrowing of the pulmonary valve and main pulmonary artery. This condition also is called pulmonary stenosis.

3. The aortic valves, which opens to the aorta, is enlarged and seems to open from both ventricles, rather than from the left ventricle only.

4. The muscular wall of the lower right chamber of the heart (right ventricle) is thicker than normal. This also is called ventricular hypertrophy.

What happens because of the problems?

The structure of the heart is affected and the defects cause blood that is oxygen-poor – meaning it has gone through the body and is being pumped back to the heart for recirculation – to be incorrectly routed through the body. Oxygen-poor blood is usually moved to the lungs to be infused with oxygen then routed through the heart to the brain and other organs. 

With tetralogy of Fallot, the blood mixes in the heart, sending the oxygen-poor blood throughout the body. Because the blood does not have enough oxygen, it leaves a baby’s skin with a blue tinge.

What is the treatment?

Surgery is needed soon after birth. During the surgery, doctors widen or replace the pulmonary valve and place a patch over the ventricular septal defect to close the hole between the two lower chambers of the heart. 

The surgery is incredibly delicate. Dr. Jennifer Ashton on “Good Morning America” Tuesday, offered this perspective on the complicated nature of the surgery: Try to imagine operating on an organ the size of a walnut with veins the diameter of angel-hair pasta.

Is it always diagnosed at birth?

No, not always, but usually. Sometimes it is diagnosed when the baby is still in the womb. Sometimes it is not diagnosed until later in life.

What about the other problem Kimmel mentioned – pulmonary atresia?

Pulmonary atresia (PULL-mun-airy ah-TREE-sha) is a birth defect of the pulmonary valve. That valve controls the blood flow from the right lower chamber of the heart into the blood vessel that carries blood from the heart to the lungs. Pulmonary atresia means that no pulmonary valve ever formed in the baby’s heart.

What caused these problems?

The cause of the defects is not known. Some are caused by gene or chromosome changes, some by something the mother and baby are exposed to – environmental factors or food, drinks or medication the mother uses. 

What is the prognosis? Can children with this lead normal lives?

The baby needs surgery not long after birth to repair the problem if possible. When the defects are caught early and the child is treated, most lead fairly normal lives. Usually, three surgeries are required to fix the defects. 

(Sources: Centers for Disease and Control, Mayo Clinic;

University of California San Francisco)

 

Mother of two dies just day after flu diagnosis

Published: Saturday, December 02, 2017 @ 12:24 PM

5 Reasons to get a Flu Shot

A young mother of two in Arizona died just one day after receiving a flu diagnosis, devastated family members said.

Alani Murrieta, 20, was diagnosed with the flu Monday and died Tuesday in the hospital, family members told KSAZ.

>> Read more trending news

Murrieta, the mother of a 2-year-old and a 6-month-old, was healthy before the sudden illness, with no pre-existing health conditions, according to family. She first experienced symptoms Sunday, when she left work early. On Monday, she went to urgent care, where she was diagnosed with the flu and sent home with medications. She was admitted to the hospital Tuesday morning as her symptoms became more severe and she was having difficulty breathing, KSAZ reported.

At the hospital, doctors performed tests and diagnosed Murrieta with pneumonia. She was placed on a ventilator, but her heart stopped. The efforts to resuscitate her were unsuccessful.

While family members said Murrieta didn't get a flu shot, early results show this year's formula may not be very effective at combatting this year's flu strains.

Lawsuit: Woman claims Brazilian butt lift left her paralyzed

Published: Saturday, November 18, 2017 @ 1:51 PM

File image of a surgical center.
Pixabay
File image of a surgical center.(Pixabay)

A nurse from Oklahoma is suing a plastic surgery center in Texas and her surgeon after she said a procedure has left her permanently paralyzed.

Rolanda Hutton, 44, went to the Dallas Plastic Surgery Institute in January for a Brazilian butt lift, WFAA reported. What was supposed to be an outpatient procedure turned into a nightmare for Hutton.

>> Read more trending news

 

When Hutton awakened from the procedure, she couldn't feel her legs or feet. She told staff, but she says they placed her in a post-operative hotel room instead of taking her to the hospital.

The lawsuit alleges that the doctor injected too much fat into her gluteal muscles, which put pressure on her sciatic nerve. Hutton's attorney, Les Weisbord, called Hutton's condition a medical emergency. By the time Hutton was taken to the hospital, it was too late to repair the nerve damage, WFAA reported.

Doctors have told Hutton she'll never walk again.

The lawsuit, filed Thursday, is asking for $5 million to cover Hutton’s future care and lost wages.

Dallas Plastic Surgery Institute referred all questions about the lawsuit to its attorney.

Disneyland shuts cooling towers after Legionnaires’ outbreak

Published: Saturday, November 11, 2017 @ 2:15 PM

Legionnaires’ Outbreak in Disneyland

Disneyland shut down two cooling towers in October after people who visited the Southern California theme park were diagnosed with Legionnaires’ disease.

A dozen cases of the bacterial illness were discovered approximately three weeks ago, the Orange County Health Care Agency confirmed to The Associated Press. All the patients lived or had spent time in Anaheim and nine had visited Disneyland in September. One patient, who hadn’t visited the park, has died.

>> Read more trending news

Legionnaires’ can cause severe pneumonia. It is spread by mist from contaminated water. 

Disneyland says it learned about the Legionnaires’ cases in late October and shut down and disinfected two cooling towers that tested for high levels of the bacteria. The towers will reopen once they are no longer contaminated, park officials said.

The health agency told The AP that no new cases have been reported.

Related

Woman made up story about doctors leaving camera inside her after surgery, hospital says

Published: Thursday, October 19, 2017 @ 5:55 AM

Emory University Hospital. (Credit: John Spink / jspink@ajc.com)
John Spink / jspink@ajc.com
Emory University Hospital. (Credit: John Spink / jspink@ajc.com)(John Spink / jspink@ajc.com)

Earlier this year, a patient at an Atlanta hospital filed a lawsuit claiming that a surgeon left a camera in her body during transplant surgery, a camera that was discovered six months later.

Lacrystal Lockett’s lawyers have now dropped the complaint.

>> PREVIOUS STORY: Doctors left camera in woman's body after surgery, lawsuit claims

Emory Hospital attorney Anna Fretwell pointed out an apparent problem with the story: No cameras are used in such surgeries.

“No evidence to substantiate the plaintiff’s claims — medical records, photographs, the alleged camera itself, eyewitness testimony, or any other evidence — ever was produced,” Fretwell said in an email to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. “Instead, the plaintiff and her lawyers admitted that Emory never left a camera in her body or had to remove one and then dropped the lawsuit.”

>> Read more trending news

Caleb Avraham, who worked with fellow attorney Michael Jo’el Smith for Lockett, didn’t go so far as to say the claim was false.

“I am not Ms. Lockett, so I can’t get into the mind of Ms. Lockett,” he told the AJC. “I know she believes her story. That’s as much as I can say.” 

Attempts to reach Lockett have been unsuccessful.

>> On AJC.com: Doctor, friend die from cocaine laced with fentanyl

Lockett went into surgery on Dec. 17, 2014, for a kidney and pancreatic transplant, according to the suit. Dr. Paul Lu Tso, assisted by doctors Ronald Parsons and Denise J. Lo, performed the procedure.

Lockett’s suit claimed a camera turned up in her torso the following June during an exam at the hospital and required another surgery to remove it.

>> On AJC.com: NFL player protests during anthem and gives critics a tip

Avraham said by the time Lockett came to him and Smith, the statute of limitations was almost up. They had what they believed to be “credible information” — he declined to elaborate — that Lockett’s story was true.

He said they decided to file suit and get more information from the discovery process, as lawyers do in the “pursuit of the truth.”

>> On AJC.com: Many questions after man dies and no one notices

Through discovery and their own investigation, the lawyers decided they didn’t have enough evidence to pursue the case, Avraham said.

Lockett had been asking for a jury to decide what she was owed for the alleged negligence.

Doctors Leave Camera In Woman's Body After Surgery