Pulmonary Stenosis (Pulmonary Valve Disorder)
Pulmonary stenosis, or pulmonary valve disorder, is a heart birth defect that limits blood flow from the heart to the lungs because of a narrowed pulmonary valve. While pulmonary stenosis has a wide range of severity, anytime blood has trouble reaching the lungs, the body will be forced to operate on an oxygen deficiency.
Symptoms and Complications
The symptoms of the defect depend on the size of the opening in the pulmonary valve. Minor cases may go undetected through adulthood, and symptoms may only be noticeable during exercise. Severe cases can cause the following symptoms and complications shortly after birth:
- Cyanosis (bluish coloration of the skin, which is most noticeable in the lips and under the fingernails)
- Poor feeding and lack of weight gain
- Shortness of breath
Treatment and Diagnosis
Initial diagnosis can often be made when the physician detects a heart murmur using a stethoscope. When a murmur, which makes a whooshing sound during a heartbeat, is discovered, further tests will be ordered. These can include some or all of the following:
- Chest x-rays – x-rays allow the doctor to see the heart and lungs.
- Cardiac catheterization – inserting a tube into the heart through a blood vessel in the groin, and checking the structure for stenosis or other defects.
- Electrocardiogram – this procedure tests the electrical activity of the heart and can detect the rhythm problems and defects.
- Echocardiogram – this produces a video image that shows any abnormalities in the heart by passing sound waves through the chest.
Mild cases of pulmonary stenosis may not require treatment unless there are other birth defects present. Treatments for pulmonary stenosis can include the use of separate medications to help blood flow through the heart, increase the strength of the heartbeat, prevent blood clots, remove excess fluids, and control arrhythmias.
If surgical procedures are warranted, they may include using a catheter to insert a balloon into the valve to stretch the opening. Other more serious cases require surgery to repair or replace the pulmonary valve altogether.
Talk to a Zoloft® Birth Defect Lawyer
If you were treated with Zoloft® (sertraline Hcl) while you were pregnant and your baby is born with a birth defect such as pulmonary stenosis, you might be eligible to receive compensation for your baby's injuries. Compensation will not reverse the damage done, but can help you pay for the necessary medication treatments your child needs.
To learn more, please contact our Zoloft® birth defect lawyers today.