PreventionBy Mayo Clinic staff
Because the exact cause of pulmonary atresia is unknown, it may not be possible to prevent it. However, there are some things you can do that might reduce your child's overall risk of birth defects and pulmonary atresia, such as:
- Get a German measles (Rubella) vaccine. If you develop German measles during pregnancy, it may affect your baby's heart development. Being vaccinated before you try to conceive likely eliminates this risk.
- Control chronic medical conditions. If you have diabetes, keeping your blood sugar in check can reduce the risk of heart defects. If you have other chronic conditions, such as epilepsy, that require the use of medications, discuss the risks and benefits of these drugs with your doctor.
- Avoid harmful substances. During pregnancy, leave painting and cleaning with strong-smelling products to someone else. Also, don't take any herbs, dietary supplements or drugs without consulting your doctor first.
- Take a multivitamin with folic acid. Daily consumption of 800 micrograms of folic acid has been shown to reduce birth defects in the brain and spinal cord, and may help reduce the risk of heart defects as well.
- Pulmonary atresia. Lucile Packard Children's Hospital. http://www.lpch.org/DiseaseHealthInfo/HealthLibrary/cardiac/pa.html. Accessed July 25, 2012.
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- Bonow RO, et al. Braunwald's Heart Disease: A Textbook of Cardiovascular Medicine. 9th ed. Philadelphia, Pa.: Saunders Elsevier; 2012. http://www.mdconsult.com/books/about.do?eid=4-u1.0-B978-1-4377-0398-6..C2009-0-59734-6--TOP&isbn=978-1-4377-0398-6&about=true&uniqId=236798031-10. Accessed July 25, 2012.
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- Congenital heart defects. National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute. http://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health/health-topics/topics/chd/. Accessed Aug. 13, 2012.
- If your child has a congenital cardiovascular defect. American Heart Association. http://www.heart.org/HEARTORG/Conditions/CongenitalHeartDefects/CongenitalHeartDefectsToolsResources/Web-Booklet-If-Your-Child-Has-a-Congenital-Heart-Defect_UCM_316608_Article.jsp. Accessed Aug. 13, 2012.