Zoloft Lawsuit Settlements
The Food and Drug Administration issued a public health advisory in December 2005 regarding the use of a particular class of antidepressants during pregnancy. If our child developed a birth defect caused by using Zoloft while pregnant, please contact us for the latest Zoloft lawsuit settlements news. The agency warned that using SSRI drugs, such as Paxil and Zoloft, during the first trimester could expose unborn babies to an increased risk of cardiac defects. Among the possible disorders that might develop is a very rare condition called double aortic arch. It is one of several Zoloft birth defects that can affect a newborn’s heart.
To date, there has been no Zoloft class action lawsuit filed against Pfizer, the drug’s manufacturer. Families with babies that were born with one or more birth defects stemming from prenatal exposure to the drug have filed individual Zoloft lawsuit claims. Cases have thus far covered a variety of disorders. We’ll describe double aortic arch below, and explain how the condition is corrected.
Abnormal Development Of The Aorta
The heart and aorta form during the early stages of fetal development. The aorta is a large artery that extends from the left ventricle, and carries blood to the body. Early in development, the aorta forms from the aortic arches, a series of vascular structures. They separate to form many of the body’s main blood vessels, such as the carotid arteries and pulmonary arteries. Some disappear.
Normally, the aorta is formed by one aortic arch. A single vessel leaves the left ventricle, extending upward and to the left before curving downward in front of the trachea. In babies born with double aortic arch, a single vessel leaves the ventricle, but splits into two distinct paths as it approaches the trachea. One path continues in front of the trachea while the other passes behind the esophagus. The two branches wrap around both structures, creating an abnormality known as a vascular ring.
The ring places pressure on the trachea and esophagus. This leads to a number of symptoms, the severity of which is based on the level of compression.
Complications Affecting Breathing And Digestion
Double aortic arch is often mild and presents no noticeable symptoms. When this is the case, the disorder may not be detected until the baby is older. When the pressure that is placed on the trachea and esophagus are severe, the infant is likely to display breathing and digestive problems.
A newborn may have difficulty taking deep breaths, and wheeze while inhaling. In addition, her breathing might be noisy, especially while nursing. Recurring bouts of pneumonia may also present.
Digestive issues can include vomiting and choking. The infant might have difficulty swallowing liquids, and regurgitate them. Acid reflux can also present as a result of continued compression on the esophagus.
Relieving Pressure From The Vascular Ring
In all cases where the baby (or child) displays signs of pressure on the trachea and esophagus, surgery is warranted. It is performed as soon as possible with the goal of relieving compression.
The surgeon’s goal is to divide the vascular ring. If, after the division, the left aortic arch is dominant (i.e. larger), the right side is dissected and tied off with vascular clamps. If the right arch is dominant, the same is done to the left side. In both cases, the dissection is done low enough so that pressure on the trachea and esophagus is relieved.
The procedure is relatively simple. Though it is invasive, and may require that the baby is attached to a cardiopulmonary bypass, it can often be performed through a single incision between the ribs. The operation can occasionally be performed via video-assisted thoracoscopic surgery, a minimally-invasive approach that reduces scarring and trauma.
Other Zoloft heart defects, such as holes that develop in the wall separating the left and right sides of the heart, are more common than double aortic arch. They can also be life-threatening if the baby does not receive treatment. If your child is suffering from the effects of spinal bifida, craniosynostosis, PPHN, or other Zoloft birth defects, you may have the right to file a claim for compensation. Contact an experienced Zoloft lawsuit settlements attorney to discuss your case.