Pulmonary Stenosis (PS) is a birth defect of the heart, when the pulmonary valve is too narrow. Serious cases can lead to heart failure and death. A new study has found that women who took antidepressants or SSRIs are twice as likely to have a baby with a serious congenital heart defect. Other medications have also been linked to PS.
Do I Have a Pulmonary 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, hypertension medication, or other drug during pregnancy, you should contact our lawyers immediately. You may be entitled to compensation by filing a Pulmonary Stenosis lawsuit.
Pulmonary Stenosis Overview
Pulmonary Stenosis (PS), also known as “pulmonary valve disorder” is a heart birth defect, when the pulmonary valve is too narrow. The pulmonary valve is the valve between the lower-right chamber of the heart (the “right ventricle”) and the pulmonary artery, which carries blood to the lungs to receive oxygen.
PS occurs when the valve does not open wide enough, and so the heart is unable to pump enough blood into the lungs.
In cases where the valve is severely constricted, serious complications may occur without treatment. Sometimes the heart is too weak to force blood through the restricted valve. The child may become “cyanotic,” which is when the skin, lips, and nails turn blue due to lack of oxygen. Over time, the heart muscle must work harder to force blood through the narrow valve. This causes the muscle to enlarge, thicken, and stiffen — ultimately, it will become too stiff to pump blood, causing heart failure and death.
Types of Pulmonary Stenosis include:
- Valvular pulmonary stenosis: When the valve flaps are thickened or narrowed
- Supravalvar pulmonary stenosis: When the pulmonary artery just above the pulmonary valve is narrowed
- Subvalvar pulmonary stenosis: When the muscle under the valve is thickened, narrowing the outflow from the lower-right chamber of the heart
- Branch peripheral pulmonic stenosis: When the right, left, or both pulmonary arteries are narrowed
What drugs have been linked to Pulmonary Stenosis?
If you are pregnant or thinking about become pregnant, talk to your doctor about all prescription medications, over-the-counter drugs, herbal supplements, and dietary supplements. Do not start or stop any medication without first consulting a doctor.
SSRIs / Antidepressant Drugs:
- 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
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.
Hypertension Medication 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.
Signs & Symptoms of Pulmonary Stenosis
Usually, the first sign of PS is when a physician listens to the baby’s heart with a stethoscope. The physician may hear a “heart murmur,” which is any abnormal sound made by blood flowing abnormally through the heart. The physician may recommend that the child see a pediatric cardiologist for further tests. Tests may include a chest X-ray or echocardiogram to get a clearer image of the child’s heart.
The severity of symptoms depends on the severity of the narrowing of the pulmonary valve. As you would expect, mild cases often show no symptoms and do not require treatment. More severe cases may need surgical repair shortly after birth to prevent heart failure and death. Most children born with PS do not exhibit symptoms until they are a few years older, when parents notice that they tire easily or faint during exercise.
- Abdominal distention
- Blue coloration of the skin, lips, or nails (“cyanosis”)
- Chest pain
- Poor weight gain or failure to thrive
- Shortness of breath
- Sudden death
Treatment & Prognosis
Moderate PS can be treated with medications. Some may help the heart pump stronger, thin the blood to prevent blood clots from forming, remove excess fluid in the blood, or treat arrhythmias (when the heart beats too fast or too slow).
Another option is a valvuloplasty, which is usually the preferred treatment when there are no other symptoms. In this procedure, a doctor makes an incision in the large artery in the patient’s groin, and inserts a long, flexible tube called a catheter with a balloon in the tip. When the catheter reaches the patient’s heart, it is inserted into the pulmonary valve, and inflated. The balloon stretches the valve. The benefit of this treatment is that it is minimally invasive. The disadvantage is that, over time, the valve often becomes narrow again and requires follow-up care. This is why people who have PS should be monitored by a cardiologist.
In severe cases of PS, a patient may need a valve replacement. These may be made of synthetic material, or tissue (usually from a pig, cow, or deceased human). The benefit of using a synthetic valve is that they last for decades, but the disadvantage is that the patient must take a blood-thinner for the rest of his/her life to prevent the formation of blood clots. Tissue valves often need to be replaced after about 10 years of use.
Do I Have a Pulmonary 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 a Pulmonary 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 Pulmonary Stenosis birth defect lawsuit review.