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  1. Lily Trudgen’s project focuses on a patent foramen ovale, also known as a PFO. This begins with the fetal heart. A fetus is not able to oxygenate blood through the lungs because they are not fully developed yet. This means the heart needs to be kept from sending blood to the lungs through the pulmonary artery. Within the fetal heart a shunt exists between the left and right atria and a second shunt between the pulmonary artery and the aorta. The shunt between the left and right atria is the foramen ovale. Its purpose is to allow oxygen-rich blood to mix with oxygen-poor blood and it also prevents blood from leaving the pulmonary artery. The mixed blood is sent through the umbilical cord towards the placenta, where the blood is cleaned and filled with oxygen and nutrients. Once a baby takes its first breath, the foramen ovale closes in most people, however in 25% of the population it stays open. This is what we call a PFO. It is an atrial septal defect, they are harmless, but some will cause complications. PFO’s can be the reason behind migraines, blood clots, air embolisms, and strokes. The reason that PFO’s can result in strokes is because when blood clots enter the right atrium they can go through the PFO directly to the brain. 50% of people who experience ischemic stroke actually have PFO. This stroke is caused by the mechanism of paradoxical embolism which happens when a thrombus crosses an intracardiac defect into the systemic circulation. PFO’s can also cause cryptogenic strokes and similar to the reason behind ischemic strokes related to a PFO, they are also caused by the mechanism of paradoxical embolism.
    I really love how well this was burned into the wood, you can clearly see where the PFO is located and it is such a beautiful wood project!

    Aggy Boldt

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