Aortic Stenosis (AS) is a heart defect that occurs when the aortic valve is too narrow. This birth defect can lead to heart failure, and may require surgery to cure. Congenital heart defects are more common in babies born to mothers who took SSRIs, antidepressant medications, and other drugs during pregnancy.
Do I Have an Aortic Stenosis Lawsuit? Collen A. Clark is a true advocate for his clients and is passionate about helping Texans that have been injured or wronged. If you or a loved one has given birth to a child with a birth defect after taking an SSRI, antidepressant, pain medication, or other medication during pregnancy, you should contact our lawyers immediately. You may be entitled to compensation by filing an Aortic Stenosis lawsuit.
What drugs have been linked to Aortic Stenosis?
If you are pregnant or thinking about becoming pregnant, tell your doctor about all medications you are using or considering using — some medications can cause serious, debilitating birth defects. Some over-the-counter drugs, prescription medication, dietary supplements, and herbal supplements have been linked to birth defects. Talk to your doctor before you start or stop any medication.
SSRIs & Antidepressant Medications have been linked to serious congenital birth defects of the heart. These medications include:
- Paxil, Seroxat (paroxetine)
- Zoloft, Lustral (sertraline)
- Celexa (citalopram)
- Lexapro, Cipralex (escitalopram)
- Symbyax (fluxetine and olanzapine)
- Wellbutrin, Zyban (bupropion)
- Effexor (vanlafaxine)
Pain Medication / Cough Medicine: A publication in the American Journal of Obstetrics & Gynecology found that pregnant women who use some types of pain medication (or cough medicine) are more likely to have babies with cardiovascular birth defects.
These medications include:
- Some Cough Medication
What is Aortic Stenosis?
Aortic stenosis (AS) , also known as “aortic valve stenosis,” is a congenital birth defect affecting the heart. AS occurs when a heart valve called the aortic valve is too narrow, inhibiting the flow of blood.
What is the aortic valve? This is the valve between the heart and the aorta. The aorta is the largest artery in the body, and it carries oxygen-rich blood out of the heart and to the rest of the body. In a person with AS, the aortic valve does not open wide enough.
How does Aortic Stenosis cause problems?
Because the aortic valve is too narrow, the heart must pump harder to force the blood into the aorta. The muscular wall of the heart becomes thicker — and in serious cases of AS, the muscle gets too thick, stiffens, and ultimately is fails.
Another complication of high blood pressure is that blood may be forced backward into the lungs, causing shortness of breath. Light-headedness and fainting may be caused by the heart being unable to pump enough blood to the brain and the rest of the body.
Signs & Symptoms of Aortic Stenosis
In mild cases of AS, a person may not be aware that they have this heart defect until they are adults. Only in severe cases will it be noticed in infants. When a pediatric health care provider listens to the baby’s heart, he or she may hear a sound called a “murmur” indicating that blood is flowing abnormally through the heart. Even if the doctor hears a murmur, this does not mean that the infant will exhibit other symptoms.
Typical symptoms include:
- Chest pain (angina) or tightness
- Feeling faint or fainting with exertion
- Shortness of breath, especially with exertion
- Fatigue, especially during times of increased activity
- Heart palpitations — sensations of a rapid, fluttering heartbeat
- Heart murmur
Additional symptoms in infants include:
- Extreme tiredness
- Sweaty skin
- Pale skin
- Fast breathing
- They may be smaller than other children
What treatments are available?
- Valvotomy – This is a surgical option if the patient’s existing aortic valve is just slightly too narrow. In this surgery, a catheter with a balloon in the tip is inserted through a large artery in the arm or the leg until it reaches the heart. When the catheter/balloon is in the heart valve, the balloon is inflated, thus stretching the valve. This procedure is rarely used, because the valve tends to narrow soon after treatment.
- Aortic Valve Replacement – This is the most common type of surgical repair. The valve may be replaced with a mechanical valve or a tissue valve (usually taken from a pig, cow, or deceased human heart). The benefit of having a mechanical valve is that it usually lasts longer than a tissue valve — but the disadvantage is that the valve transplant recipient will need to take a blood-thinning medication (usually warfarin/coumadin) for the rest of his/her life. The disadvantage of using a tissue valve is that they usually wear out the patient will need to undergo additional surgery.
- Transcatheter aortic valve implantations (TAVI) – This is a rare type of surgical repair, in which a catheter is inserted into the large artery in the patient’s leg, until the catheter reaches the aortic valve. The catheter places a prosthetic valve in place of the aortic valve.
- Surgical valvuloplasty – This is usually the choice for newborns with serious aortic stenosis. The surgeon will use traditional surgical tools to open the heart, and cut open the parts of the aortic valve that are fused together.
Long-term prognosis for babies born with AS is good, though they may still be at risk of developing irregular heart rhythms. Sometimes patients will take medications to strengthen their heart rhythm and reduce their risk of developing blood clots. A cardiologist will likely need to monitor the patient periodically to ensure that the valve does not become narrower as the child grows older.
Do I Have a Aortic Stenosis Lawsuit?
For a free consultation, please contact Collen A. Clark at The Clark Firm, LLP immediately. You may be entitled to compensation by filing an Aortic Stenosis lawsuit.
Collen’s amazing success in the courtroom and well known dedication to his clients has earned him the recognition of his peers as one of The Top Trial Lawyers in Texas.”
The Clark Firm has assembled a team of trial lawyers with more that 100 years experience, participation in over 600 jury trials and $60 million in verdicts and/or settlements. Please use the form below to contact us for a free Aortic Stenosis lawsuit review.