Truncus Arteriosus is a congenital birth defect characterized by a single large vessel leading out of the heart instead of the typical two. As a result, the oxygen-poor blood that is normally intended for the lungs mixes with oxygen-rich blood to create severe circulatory problems. If neglected, truncus arteriosus may prove to be fatal within the first year of a child’s life. In this article we will discuss the signs and symptoms, causes, risk factors, complications, and treatments for truncus arteriosus.
If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with truncus arteriosus 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 Truncus Arteriosus
Signs of truncus arteriosus typically develop within the first few weeks of a child’s life. They include:
- Bluish discoloration of skin
- Poor feeding habits
- Excessive sleepiness
- Poor growth
- Rapid breathing
- Irregular heartbeats
- Excessive sweating
Causes of Truncus Arteriosus
For the most part, doctors agree that the specific causes of truncus arteriosus in children remain unknown. However, in July 2006, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued a warning about the heart defects risk caused by using antidepressants during pregnancy. Antidepressants have been linked to an increased risk of truncus arteriosus 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 Truncus Arteriosus
Risk factors associated with truncus arteriosus include the following:
- Taking antidepressant medication while pregnant may increase the risk that the child will be born with a congenital heart defect.
- Viral infections in women during pregnancy may increase the risk that their baby will be born with a congenital birth defect.
- Poorly controlled diabetes during pregnancy may increase the risk of birth defects.
- Children with down syndrome have an increased risk of truncus arteriosus.
Truncus Arteriosus Complications
The abnormal heart structures associated with truncus arteriosus result in severe complications with blood circulation. When oxygen-rich blood exits from the same vessel as oxygen-poor blood, the result is a sever lack of oxygen that is circulated throughout the body. If a baby has truncus arteriosus, these circulation problems may result in:
- Respiratory problems
- Leaky heart valves
- Pulmonary hypertension
- Enlargement of the heart
- Heart Failure
Truncus Arteriosus Treatments
Through multiple intricate procedures, surgery can often repair the heart of those suffering from truncus arteriosus. Typically these procedures take place within the first two months of life and include the following:
- Patching the hole between the two ventricles
- Separating the large vessel from the pulmonary artery
- Creating a new pulmonary artery by connecting the right ventricle with the pulmonary artery
- Reconstructing the the large vessel and aorta to create a new, complete aorta
- Implant a new valve separating the left ventricle and aorta
Do I have a Truncus Arteriosus 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 truncus arteriosus lawsuits. We are currently accepting new cases in all 50 states.
Again, if you or a loved one has been diagnosed with truncus arteriosus after taking an antidepressant, you should contact our lawyers immediately by clicking the link below or calling toll free 1-(949) 557-5800. You may be entitled to compensation for your injuries and we can help.