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Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome

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Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome

Birth Defect Lawyer Serving Clients Nationwide

Hypoplastic left heart syndrome (HLHS) starts as a hole in the wall or septum that divides the heart’s upper chambers. As the child grows in the womb, the left chamber forms incorrectly, which in turn affects the development of a number of other structures.

The following may be affected due to hypoplastic left heart syndrome:

  • Very small or underdeveloped left ventricle
  • Very small or incomplete mitral valves
  • Very small or incomplete aortic valve
  • Very small or incomplete aorta
  • Development of atrial septal defect

Call Bailey Cowan Heckaman today at (713) 425-7100 if you were taking medication during pregnancy and your child was born with HLHS. 

SSRIs and Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome

While a number of birth defects have unknown causes, there have been studies linking the use of selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) and other medications with the development of birth defects like HLHS.

Medications that might be linked to babies developing HLHS include:

  • Paxil (Paroxetine)
  • Zoloft (Sertraline)
  • Celexa (Citalopram)
  • Prozac (Fluoxetine)
  • Lexapro (Escitalopram)
  • Symbyax (fluoxetine and olanzapine)
  • Wellbutrin (Bupropion)
  • Effexor (Venlafaxine)

If the mother is taking any of these medications during pregnancy, there is the possible risk of harm to the baby.

Treatment Options for HLHS

When an infant is diagnosed with Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome, there are few options for treatment. The size of the hole or gap can vary and it is possible that the defect might fix itself over time and naturally close. In the event that the gap does not close and other major structures are damaged, the child will require surgery.

Surgery: Surgery can have up to three stages which include the Norwood Procedure, the Bi-directional Glenn Shunt Procedure, and the Fontan Procedure.

Ongoing special care: The above series of procedures is performed throughout the beginning of the child’s life and is meant to restore cardiac function, but not cure it. Unfortunately, the child will continue to experience complications throughout his or her lifetime and will require special care.

Medications: In less severe cases, a physician might pursue treatment through various medications. Some medicines can help lower the baby’s blood pressure and adjust the flow of oxygenated blood to the body while strengthening the heart.

Legal Help for HLHS Birth Injury

If your child was diagnosed with Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome (HLHS) and the mother took antidepressants during pregnancy, a lawyer can help you determine if you have a potential legal claim. Our team at Bailey Cowan Heckaman can review your medical records and consult with experts to determine if you have a claim against the pharmaceutical company that manufactured the antidepressant, against the healthcare professional who prescribed it, or against any other negligent party.

Our experienced birth defect lawyers can help you receive compensation for medical expenses, ongoing treatment for your child, pain and suffering, and other damages related to the child’s medical condition.

Ready to request a free case review? Call (713) 425-7100.

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