Paxil Birth Defects Settlement

by Steve Fields on October 21st, 2011

The first FDA public health advisory regarding the risk of Paxil birth defects was announced in December 2005. Since then, the agency has issued additional advisories about the drug. If your child was affected by this medication used while pregnant, please contact us for the latest Paxil birth defects settlement news. They have repeatedly warned women that taking it while they are pregnant introduces an increased risk of several serious birth injuries. To that effect, some babies have been born with problems affecting their gastrointestinal tract, abdominal wall, skull, brain, and heart. These congenital disorders have understandably spurred many parents to file Paxil lawsuit birth defects claims on behalf of their infants.

Some defects are more serious than others. Among them are those that impair blood flow through and out of the heart. Such is the case with a condition called coarctation of the aorta. If it is left untreated, it can cause life-endangering complications.

What Is Aortic Coarctation?

The aorta is the largest artery in the body. It carries oxygen-rich blood away from the heart, delivering it to the tissues and organs. The aorta leaves the heart from a connection with the left ventricle, and ascends a short distance before arching and descending toward the abdomen. Coarctation of the aorta is a defect where a segment of the vessel is narrowed.

The narrowed section can usually be found near the arch, at the point where the ascending aorta becomes the descending aorta. Because the passage through the vessel is smaller, less blood is allowed to flow past at one time. As a result, the left ventricle must pump harder in order to circulate an adequate volume of oxygen-rich blood to the baby’s body.

Signs Of Coarctation Of The Aorta

Babies born with this condition typically display signs within their first week of life. They may have difficulty breathing deeply, sweat profusely, or flare their nostrils. Also, due to impaired blood flow, the infant’s feet may feel cold.

The size of the narrowed portion of the aorta determines the severity of the baby’s symptoms. Some infants are asymptomatic because the aortic narrowing is mild. In such cases, the condition may not be caught for several years. Others’ symptoms can be severe. If a baby’s body is starved of oxygenated blood, she may develop sporadic nosebleeds, and even faint.

When aortic coarctation is allowed to persist, the disorder can open the door to several dangerous complications. High blood pressure may present in the left side of the heart as it tries to pump blood more aggressively. If the left ventricle is unable to meet the body’s demands for oxygen-rich blood, heart failure may develop. In rare cases where blood pressure rises to dangerous levels, the aorta may rupture or the baby might suffer a cerebral aneurysm.

Repairing The Paxil Heart Defect

The defect must be surgically repaired; medications are often given, but only to help manage the infant’s blood pressure prior to surgery. A number of different approaches can be taken to improve blood flow through the diseased aorta. For example, the surgeon may perform a procedure called patch aortoplasty. An incision is made along the length of the aorta’s narrowed section, and a patch is applied to expand the opening through the vessel.

An alternative is to perform a resection of the vessel followed by an anastomosis. The narrowed portion if cut away from the artery, and the two remaining ends are connected.

Balloon angioplasty may also be performed, though it is usually reserved for older children in whom the coarctation has recurred following earlier treatment. A catheter is guided to the aortic narrowing, and a balloon is inflated in order to widen it.

Coarctation of the aorta is a serious congenital disorder. Because it impairs blood flow to the rest of the baby’s body, it can lead to permanent organ damage. That said, the condition is merely one of many Paxil heart defects that can surface as the result of using the prescription antidepressant drug during pregnancy.

If your child is suffering from any Paxil birth defects, you may have the right to file a claim against the drug’s manufacturer. Contact an experienced Paxil birth defects settlement attorney to discuss your options.

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Paxil and pregnancy lawsuits continue to be filed by families affected by serious side effects. Paxil is a type of antidepressant that targets certain chemicals to balance them in the brain. It falls under the category of a Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitor (SSRI) because it keeps the chemical serotonin from being reabsorbed in the nerve cells... find out more