Women taking anti-depressants and SSRIs during pregnancy may have babies with serious, life-threatening congenital heart defects, such as Truncus Arteriosus, in which only one blood vessel leaves the heart, instead of two. Extensive heart-lung bypass surgery is required. If untreated, the infant will have heart failure and die within 2-4 weeks of birth.

Truncus Arteriosus Lawsuit Review: If you or somebody you know has a child that has been diagnosed with Truncus Arteriosus after being exposed to an anti-depressant medication in the womb, you should contact our lawyers immediately. Consultations are always free. Please use our confidential email contact form or call toll free 24 hrs/day by dialing (866) 588-0600.

What anti-depressants have been linked to Truncus Arteriosus?

The journal of Obstetrics & Gynecology published a study in July 2011, which linked the use of anti-depressants and SSRIs during pregnancy to an increased likelihood of having a baby with birth defects. Serious congenital defects linked to SSRIs and anti-depressants include heart defects, neural tube defects (such as spina bifida), and autism.

The following anti-depressants have been linked to birth defects such as Truncus Arteriosus:

  • Paxil (paroxetine)
  • Zoloft (sertraline)
  • Celexa (citalopram)
  • Prozac (fluoxetine)
  • Lexapro (escitalopram)
  • Symbyax (fluoxetine and olanzapine)
  • Wellbutrin (bupropion)
  • Effexor (venlafaxine)

What is Truncus Arteriosus?

In a normal heart, the pulmonary artery comes out of the right ventricle (the right chamber of the heart) and the aorta comes out of the left ventricle (the left chamber of the heart).

In Truncus arteriosus (TA), a single artery comes out of the ventricles, instead of two. TA is a rare type of congenital heart disease that develops during the first eight weeks of fetus development, in which the blood vessels exiting the heart fail to develop into the aorta and pulmonary arteries, and instead form into one single vessel. As a result, the oxygenated blood mixes with the non-oxygenated blood and blood pressure increases until heart failure.

Like most congenital heart defects, TA is not life-threatening until the baby is born, because the mother’s placenta provides oxygenated blood. After birth, however, surgery will be necessary to prevent infant death.

Signs & Symptoms of Truncus Arteriosus

A routine prenatal checkup will usually find the first symptoms. The health care provider may hear a “murmur” when listening to the heart, indicating an abnormality. An echocardiogram, MRI, or X-ray of the chest may will provide conclusive diagnosis of this deformity.

After birth, symptoms of Truncus Arteriosus include:

  • Bluish skin, nails, or lips (cyanosis)
  • Delayed growth or growth failure
  • Fatigue
  • Lethargy
  • Poor feeding
  • Rapid breathing (tachypnea)
  • Shortness of breath
  • Widening of the finger tips (clubbing)

What treatments are available?

Surgery is required to treat this condition. If the infant does not receive treatment, cases will result in death — usually within the first 2-4 weeks of life.

The preferred type of surgery is complete repair. Truncus Arteriosus repair is one of the most extensive cardiac procedures performed on infants, because it is a complete heart-lung bypass surgery, including the implantation of a grafted conduit to replace the nonexistent blood-vessel. Postoperative course is complex, because invasive monitoring catheters must be used to access cardiac output and pulmonary pressure.

Bleeding is a serious complication, usually seen immediately following surgery, as suture lines and the grafted vessel undergo elevated blood pressure.

If the surgery is successful, prognosis is good, though more procedures may be necessary as the patient grows.

Is there a time limit in filing a Truncus Arteriosus birth defect lawsuit?

Although we encourage all our potential clients to take great care in selecting their Truncus Arteriosus lawyer, it is important that you understand that time is of the essence. The applicable statute of limitations in your state may time bar your claim. Furthermore, we are unable to provide you with legal advice without first evaluating your potential case. Accordingly, please take the time now to contact us by using the confidential email contact form below or by calling us toll free 24 hrs/day by dialing (866) 588-0600.

We hope we will be able to assist you with your potential antidepressant-induced Truncus Arteriosus birth defect lawsuit and look forward to speaking with you.

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