Zoloft Birth Defects Lawsuit
Use of selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors, or SSRIs, during pregnancy are known to increase the risk of heart defects in babies. The defects can take several forms. If your child developed a birth defects caused by Zoloft please contact for the latest Zoloft birth defects lawsuit news. Newborns may suffer from stenotic heart valves, cardiomyopathy, or hypoplastic left heart syndrome. One of the most common Zoloft heart defects is a hole that develops in the wall of tissue separating the right and left atria (upper chambers of the heart). This is called an atrial septal defect (ASD).
Normally, blood arrives in the right atrium, flows to the right ventricle (lower chamber), and is pumped to the lungs for oxygen. It then flows to the left atrium before being pumped to the left ventricle, and into the aorta. With a Zoloft atrial septal defect, blood is allowed to travel between the right and left atria. Some ASDs are small, and cause mild symptoms. Others are large, and can pose serious complications.
Types Of Holes In The Interatrial Septum
The wall that separates the right and left sides of the heart is called the septum. The portion that separates the atria is called the atrial septum. There are three types of holes that can appear in this section of the wall.
The most common type of ASD is called a secundum. This is a hole that develops in the middle of the atrial septum. Half of them close on their own.
A second form of ASD is a primum. This hole occurs in the lower section of the wall separating the atria, near the mitral and tricuspid valves. They are uncommon, and must usually be addressed with open heart surgery.
The last type of atrial septal defect is a sinus venosus, which develops in the upper portion of the atrial septum. Like a primum ASD, it are rare, and must be treated with surgery.
Why Zoloft Atrial Septal Defects Are Dangerous
Small ASDs seldom cause problems. When symptoms present, they typically do so when a person reaches their late 20s or 30s. On the other hand, mid-sized to large holes in the heart can produce a number of serious long-term complications. Because oxygen-poor and oxygen-rich blood are allowed to mix, the right ventricle is forced to pump more blood to the heart. This can cause the pressure within the pulmonary arteries to rise, a condition known as pulmonary hypertension. With time, the pressure can damage the vessels and lungs.
Another danger is that the right ventricle may wear out as a result of persistent, aggressive pumping. This is called cor pulmonale, or right-sided heart failure. It can lead to fluid accumulation, shock, and in rare cases, death.
A baby born with a large ASD will be more susceptible to stroke and heart attack later in life. This is because blood clots in the right side of the heart can traverse the septum, and be pumped into the aorta.
Even with large atrial septal defects, infants rarely suffer any of the side effects mentioned above. These complications usually surface during adulthood. That said, shortness of breath, lung infections, and swelling in the lower extremities may present at a young age.
How Holes In The Septum Are Corrected
Secundum ASDs, the most common type, can often be resolved through a catheter-directed procedure. The catheter is introduced into a vein near the groin. It is guided upward through the inferior vena cava until it reaches the right atrium. The tip of the instrument is equipped with a small mesh-like patch. The cardiologist will position the catheter near the septum, and deploy the patch over the hole. Within a few months, the septal tissue grows over the patch.
As noted earlier, primum and sinus venosus ASDs are addressed with open heart surgery since both are difficult to reach via a catheter. Here too, a patch is placed over the septal hole.
Zoloft birth defects involving the atrial septal can cause serious health problems when they are large. For babies and toddlers, however, most doctors will recommend ongoing monitoring to see whether the holes close on their own. If they do, cardiac catheterization or surgical intervention may be unnecessary.
If you or a loved one used Zoloft while pregnant, and have a child who was born with a heart-related birth defect, you may be eligible to file a Zoloft birth defects lawsuit. Contact a Zoloft lawyer to discuss your legal options. There is never any cost or obligation to speak to a member of our legal team.