Saturday, March 30, 2013

Holy Saturday Night in Haiti

Sleeping with Mitral Stenosis in Port-au-Prince
(Photo by John Carroll, March 30, 2013)
This is how Marie has been trying to sleep for months. She cannot lie down because she cannot breathe.

Her exam today revealed a very tight mitral valve. The tissue is scarred down and does not let blood normally drain into her left ventricle which is her main pumping chamber. And fluid ends up in her lungs which has caused her right ventricle to become overloaded. And this causes fluid to engorge her liver and causes her abdomen to be painful.

And untreated strep throat caused all of this when Marie was 12 years old and she developed rheumatic fever.

And what really caused most of this is being poor.

What needs to be done?

Marie is on four types of heart medicine which is stopping her from tipping all the way over.  But the "cure" for Marie is heart surgery to replace her mitral valve.

John A. Carroll, MD

1 comment:

Jason and Kristin said...

Dr. Carroll, I recently read an article about a heart clinic in Sudan to deal with all these cases stemming from untreated strep. Sudan was chosen as so many neighboring countries would then have access. The interview with the doctor who started the center was heart wrenching. I still can't come to grips that in a country just hundreds of miles off our coast - people are needlessly dying every minute of every day.