The Tricuspid Valve is found between the upper and lower chambers on the right side of the heart. Tricuspid atresia occurs when this valve is deformed, narrow, or missing.
Babies born with tricuspid atresia are blue because they cannot get blood to the lungs to pick up oxygen.
To get to the lungs, blood must cross an atrial septal defect (ASD), ventricular septal defect (VSD), or a patent ductus arteriosus (PDA). (These conditions are described above.) This condition severely restricts blood flow to the lungs.
Soon after birth, the baby may be given a medicine called prostaglandin E. This medicine will help keep the patent ductus arteriosus open so that blood can continue to flow to the lungs. However, this will only work for a while. The child will eventually need surgery.
The child may need a series of shunts and surgeries to correct this defect. The goal of this surgery is to allow blood from the body to flow into the lungs. The surgeon may have to repair the tricuspid valve, replace the valve, or put in a shunt so that blood can get to the lungs.