Hypoplastic left heart syndrome (HLHS) is a rare congenital birth defect that is characterized by a critically underdeveloped left side of the heart. As a result, the right side of the heart must work harder in pumping blood to both lungs in order to compensate for the left sides inefficiency. In this article we will discuss the signs and symptoms, causes, risk factors, complications, tests and diagnosis, and treatments for hypoplastic left heart syndrome.
If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with hypoplastic left heart syndrome after taking an antidepressant, you should contact our lawyers immediately for a free confidential case evaluation. You may be entitled to compensation for your injuries and we can help.
Signs & Symptoms of Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome
Symptoms of hypoplastic left heart syndrome are typically noticed immediately after birth. Common symptoms of this congenital birth defect include:
- Bluish-gray discoloration of the skin
- Difficulties in breathing
- Poor feeding
- Cold hands/feet
Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome Causes
For the most part, doctors agree that the specific causes of hypoplastic left heart syndrome in children remain unknown. However, in July 2006, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued a warning about the heart defect risks caused by using antidepressants during pregnancy. Antidepressants have been linked to an increased risk of hypoplastic left heart syndrome in children born to mothers who took them during pregnancy. The following is a list of antidepressant medications that have been linked to this type of birth defect:
- Zoloft (Sertraline)
- Celexa (Citalopram)
- Prozac (Fluoxetine)
- Lexapro (Escitalopram)
- Symbyax (fluoxetine and olanzapine)
- Effexor (Venlafaxine)
Risk Factors of Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome
Mothers who have already had a child who suffered from hypoplastic left heart syndrome may be at a greater risk of having another baby develop the same condition. Antidepressants have also been linked to hypoplastic left heart syndrome when taken by pregnant mothers.
Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome Complications
If the treatment of hypoplastic left heart syndrome is neglected, children who suffer from the condition will unfortunately die within two weeks of their birth. Those who receive treatment, however, will likely develop the following complications later in life:
- Tiring easily during strenuous exercise
- Development of blood clots
- Brain and nervous system complications
Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome Tests & Diagnosis
An infant may be diagnosed with hypoplastic left heart syndrome while still in the womb. A simple ultrasound is enough to detect the condition. However, after the baby is born, doctors typically use echocardiograms to diagnose hypoplastic left heart syndrome.
Treatments for Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome
There are only two ways to treat hypoplastic left heart syndrome. The first method involves an intricate three-step surgical procedure that is designed to create normal blood flow in and out of the heart. The second option is a complete heart transplant that replaces the defective heart.
Do I have a Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome Lawsuit?
The trial lawyers at The Senators (Ret.) Firm, LLP have decades of experience navigating through complex legislative and regulatory issues and litigating high stakes cases all over the nation. Our law firm focuses on the representation of plaintiffs in hypoplastic left heart syndrome lawsuits. We are currently accepting new cases in all 50 states.
Again, if you or a loved one has been diagnosed with hypoplastic left heart syndrome after taking an antidepressant, you should contact our lawyers immediately by clicking the link below or calling toll free 1-800-773-0849. You may be entitled to compensation for your injuries and we can help.