Mitral Valve Prolapse (MVP) is a birth defect where a heart valve does not close properly and blood leaks backward. Serious cases may require surgery. If untreated, it may lead to heart failure. Studies have found that some medications (SSRIs, antidepressants, and other drugs), if taken during pregnancy, increase a woman’s chance of having a baby with a serious cardiovascular birth defect.
Do I Have a Mitral Valve Prolapse 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, or other medication during pregnancy, you should contact our lawyers immediately. You may be entitled to compensation by filing a birth defect lawsuit.
What drugs have been linked to Mitral Valve Prolapse?
Always talk to your doctor if you are pregnant and taking any medication or thinking about taking a medication. This includes prescription medications, over-the-counter drugs, herbal supplements, and dietary supplements. Do not start or stop any medication without first consulting a doctor. If you are planning a pregnancy, consult your doctor to determine which are necessary and should be continued.
SSRI Antidepressant Medication: Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors (SSRIs) have been the focus of several recent studies. The CDC has recently issued a warning, after several studies found that babies born to mothers who took SSRIs during pregnancy (especially Wellbutrin / bupropion) have a higher rate of serious, life-threatening heart birth defects. SSRIs are common antidepressants, and include the following drugs:
- Paxil, Seroxat (paroxetine)
- Zoloft, Lustral (sertraline)
- Celexa (citalopram)
- Lexapro, Cipralex (escitalopram)
- Symbyax (fluxetine and olanzapine)
- Wellbutrin (bupropion)
- Effexor (vanlafaxine)
Pain Medication / Cough Medicine: Another recent study, published in the American Journal of Obstetrics & Gynecology, found that mothers who used pain medications that contained opioids during pregnancy had an increased chance of having a baby with a congenital heart defect. Low doses of opioids are also found in come cough medications.
These medications include:
- Some Cough Medication
A study found that women who have asthma and take asthma medications (sometimes known as “bronchodilators”) during pregnancy were more likely to have babies born with birth defects affecting the heart.
The CDC also made a warning concerning the use of hypertension medication during pregnancy, after a study linked its use to several congenital heart defects.
Mitral Valve Prolapse Overview
Mitral Valve Prolapse (MVP) is a birth defect affecting the heart. Many people who have MVP do not have any symptoms, so it is not diagnosed until they are adults. It may be diagnosed in newborns when the health care provider uses a stethoscope to listen to the baby’s heart — they may hear an abnormal “clicking” sound or a “murmur,” indicating an abnormality.
MVP an abnormality of the mitral valve, which is the valve that separates the upper and lower chambers on the left side of the heart. “Prolapse” is when this valve bulges upward, into the upper chamber of the heart. Sometimes, blood leaks backward, in a condition known as mitral valve regurgitation.
MVP is the most common heart defect. It may affect as much as 10% of the population, but in many cases, it is never diagnosed because it is minor and does not affect a person’s lifestyle.
Signs & Symptoms of Mitral Valve Prolapse
Many people who have Mitral Valve Prolapse (MVP) never have symptoms. Usually, MVP is only diagnosed when blood begins leaking backward as the heart pumps, producing an irregular heartbeat.
Symptoms may include:
- A racing or irregular heartbeat (arrhythmia)
- Dizziness or lightheadedness
- Difficulty breathing or shortness of breath — sometimes while lying flat or during exercise
- Chest pain, not caused by heart attack or coronary artery disease
These symptoms are very similar to other serious, life-threatening heart conditions — including a heart attack — so if you experience any of these symptoms, contact an emergency physician immediately.
A definitive diagnosis of MVP will require an X-ray, echocardiogram, electrocardiogram (ECG), stress test (walking on a treadmill), or cardiac catheterization (a doctor injects a harmless dye that is visible in X-ray machines).
Treatment & Prognosis
Treatment for each patient will depend on the severity of the anomaly and other individual factors. Most people with MVP don’t require surgery. In severe cases, however, two types of surgical treatment may be the best option:
- Valve repair: Repairing the person’s existing valve (usually the preferred treatment). This delicate open-heart surgery requires an experienced surgeon. The tissue of the heart valve may be repaired by reconnecting valve tissue, removing excess valve tissue, or tightening the ring around the valve (called the “annulus”). The result should be a valve that seals tightly, and does not allow back-flow of blood.
- Valve replacement: When repair of the existing valve tissue is not possible, valve replacement may be the best option. The damaged mitral valve is replaced with an artificial valve. Artificial valves may be mechanical or tissue valves. Although mechanical valves last longer than tissue valves, the patient will need to take a blood-thinner for the rest of his/her life to prevent blood clots from forming on the valve, traveling to the brain, and causing a stroke. Tissue valves (often from pigs) may need to be replaced, requiring additional surgery later in life.
Do I Have a Mitral Valve Prolapse Lawsuit?
For a free consultation, please contact Collen A. Clark at The Clark Firm, LLP immediately. You may be entitled to compensation by filing a Mitral Valve Prolapse 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 birth defect lawsuit review.