Segments in this Video

Decisions of Life: Great Ormond Street: Introduction (02:02)


Complex heart defects can now be detected in utero and be operated on a day or two after birth. This gives patients the ability to extend their life span from 5-15 years. Doctors must balance the efficacy of treatment with quality of life.

Cardiac Intensive Care (02:38)

Baby Neils is diagnosed with a complex hole in his heart and narrow trachea; he is on ventilation. The German national health care service will pay for Neils' treatment.

Cardiac Team Meeting (02:59)

Doctors debate whether to repair or completely reconstruct the heart. They agree to perform the trachea and heart surgeries simultaneously if neurosurgery consents.

Neurological Issues (02:00)

Baby Neils suffered from a heart attack while in Germany. Operating on a child with a brain injury can cause further issues and provoke a catastrophic bleed. Dr. Lucinda Carr points out the infarction on a CT scan.

Brain Damage (02:34)

Medical staff speak with Neils' parents about the brain bleed. The team decides to wait two weeks to see if the brain bleed improves.

Neils' Condition Worsens (03:39)

The medical team decides to perform bypass surgery immediately; Dr. TY Hsia feels good about the outcome. Elliott describes the increased risks of the operation.

Part Two of Neils' Surgery (03:18)

The cardiac team hands over the surgery four hours later. The airway team widens Neil's trachea. The surgeon updates the family.

Freya's Heart Struggles (03:29)

Freya has been in ICU for over six months; her heart is struggling after an unsuccessful complete reconstruction. Dr. Robert Yates performs a catheter procedure on Freya. While recovering, her heart arrests.

Catheter Intervention Recovery (04:54)

The cardiac team discusses Freya's treatment plan. If Freya does not improve, they will perform a high risk surgery to replace the valve. Allesandro Giardini updates the family.

Neils' Condition Improves (02:34)

Doctors discharge Neils to a German hospital. His circulation has improved and a bronchoscopy shows the trachea is healing. Tina Beyel is grateful to the doctors.

Freya's Deadline Approaches (02:00)

Giardini performs a scan to see the effects of the catheter procedure; improved circulation is necessary to avoid high risk surgery. Giardini rethinks the time frame.

Long-Term Patients (02:58)

Charlotte Tivey-Jones describes nursing teams so the family is familiar with a nurse on each shift. Dr. Cho Ng explains that kids can be discharged with ventilators if necessary.

Freya Continues to Improve (02:06)

The cardiac team decides to postpone Freya's surgery until she is bigger. Judy Tenenbaum discusses establishing normalcy for the family.

Heart Defect Discovered in Utero (02:32)

Vanessa Coggins' baby will not survive outside the womb; she tours Great Ormond Street. The baby will need three surgeries before the age of five.

Freya's Circulation Improved (02:00)

Freya's parents take her outside for fresh air. Tseng stresses the importance of careful medical consideration. Freya's parents believe surgery is necessary for her future.

Baby Harry's Heart has One Pumping Chamber (02:11)

Coggins and her baby are on their way to Great Ormond Street. The Cardiac team meets to discuss the case. Giardini acts as point person for the family.

Surgery is Scheduled (03:44)

Giardini meets with Coggins to discuss the treatment plan. Shafi Mussa explains the surgery and the risks to Harry's parents; they sign consent forms.

Baby Harry's Surgery (03:21)

Martin Kostolny performs the "Norwood Procedure." Robert Bingham describes how the heart needs to be stopped and drained of blood prior to repairing it. The surgery proceeds smoothly.

Successful Surgery (03:11)

A cardiothoracic surgeon limits risks to a baby by keeping the bypass time short— the first 24-48 hours after surgery are critical. Kostolny updates Harry's parents.

Patient Update (04:11)

Harry has weak circulation, so the family needs to learn life support. He will need two additional surgeries and most likely a heart transplant upon reaching adulthood. Neils and Freja are steadily improving.

Credits: Decisions of Life: Great Ormond Street, Series 2 (00:41)

Credits: Decisions of Life: Great Ormond Street, Series 2

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Decisions of Life: Great Ormond Street, Series 2

Part of the Series : Great Ormond Street, Series 2
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This program focuses on the work of Great Ormond Street’s Cardiothoracic Department as they treat new born babies with complex heart problems. Many are diagnosed before they are even born and improvements in surgical techniques mean that more of these babies are surviving. Short term survival rates are on the rise, however a long life expectancy is the real measure of success. Surgeons and doctors, together with parents, must decide whether or not to embark on difficult surgery knowing that in some cases, the outcomes remain uncertain. A BBC Production.

Length: 60 minutes

Item#: BVL115647

ISBN: 978-1-63521-082-8

Copyright date: ©2012

Closed Captioned

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