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Fetal Circulation Print E-mail

Dr. Kennedy Fetal circulation refers to blood circulation in the fetus (the unborn baby). Before birth, blood from the heart destined (through the pulmonary artery) for the lungs is shunted away from the lungs and returned to the largest artery (the aorta). The shunt is through a short vessel called the ductus arteriosus. When this shunt is open, it is said to be a patent ductus arteriosus (PDA). The PDA usually closes at, or shortly after, birth and blood is permitted to course freely to the lungs. If it does not close properly the result is poorly oxygenated blood finding its way to the body without having passed through the lungs.This is one of the conditions which can lead to "blue baby." The others are the atrial septal defect and the ventricular septal defect.



The information in this article is not meant to be medical advice.�Treatment for a medical condition should come at the recommendation of your personal physician.

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