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Sister with VSD born 1963. Treatment options back then?


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My sister was born with a ventricular septal defect in the early 1960s in the Twin Cities (Minneapolis/St. Paul).   I am trying to learn what type of options she would have had at the time, and as a child.  She never had heart surgery, and died at the age of 40.  I am trying to learn if she could have gotten help at some point, and what that would have been.  She mentioned she might have been a candidate for a heart & lung transplant as an adult, but never had serious enough symptoms (so she said) to warrant getting a transplant.  I do not have her medical records; I'm just starting to research what type of treatments options there would have been for a child back in the 1960s and '70s in Minnesota, as I'm curious.  Thank you for any help or info you can share with me, document or books to read, etc.  Thank you again. 

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Hi Carlie! 

Sorry nobody has replied to this yet. I actually had an atrioventricular septal defect and I was born in the early 70s. It wasn't caught prenatal, but they did do surgery when I was about 6 months old. I then had to have a couple more surgeries as I grew and the wall they basically built had to be expanded. I would have to look at my surgical reports to see how they did that back then. I'm sure it's a little different than how they would do it now (they actually had to re-build my wall a little over 10 years ago, and that was still via an open heart surgery). 

I am so sorry to hear about your sister's passing. Was she diagnosed at a young age also? I would see if it's possible to get her records, as it will give you a little more insight on what the doctors were thinking during her early years of care after she was diagnosed. 

Let me know if you have any questions! 


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