Ventricular Septal Defect (VSD)
A ventricular septal defect (VSD) is a birth defect in which the baby is born with a hole in the heart. The hole occurs between the right and left sides of the heart's ventricles. It is one of the birth defects most commonly caused by Zoloft® and other SSRI drugs when taken during pregnancy. The severity of the defect depends on the size of the hole in the heart, which can either close on its own or require heart surgery.
Symptoms and Complications
A minor ventricular septal defect may be undetected until adulthood, but there are often symptoms that can appear in the first few days of your baby's life if the hole is large. Symptoms include a bluish tint to the skin and lips, lack of appetite, fatigue, shortness of breath, rapid heart rate, and swelling in the legs, feet, or abdomen.
Complications from a large hole in the heart can cause many complications, including:
- Eisenmenger's Syndrome, permanent damage to the lung arteries from pulmonary hypertension caused by increased blood flow to the lungs
- Heart failure, a chronic and potentially fatal condition in which the heart can't pump effectively
- Endocarditis, infections of the heart
- Stroke, a blood clot passing through the hold the heart and traveling to the brain
- Arrhythmias and valve problems
Treatment and Diagnosis
The earliest diagnosis of a ventricular septal defect usually occurs when the doctor detects a heart murmur with a stethoscope. Confirmation of the defect can be obtained through diagnostic tests such as:
- X-Rays - chest x-rays will allow the doctor to see the heart and lungs, which can either confirm the septal defect, rule it out due to other conditions which may be discovered, or find additional defects.
- Electrocardiogram - testing the electrical activity of the heart can detect the defect and rhythm problems.
- Echocardiogram - sound waves passing through the chest produce a video image of the heart which will show abnormalities.
Minor ventricular septal defects will close without surgery, and there are several medications which can be used to alleviate symptoms. These include drugs to decrease fluid circulation, increase the strength of heart contractions and keep the heartbeat regular.
If there the hole is large and your infant is experiencing significant symptoms, surgery will be performed before your baby is one year old. The most common type of surgery is an open-heart procedure, in which a patch or stitches close the hole. In catheterization, a patch or plug is inserted via a blood vessel, but this procedure usually has more complications than an open-heart surgery.
Talk to a Zoloft® Heart Defect Lawyer
If your baby is born with a heart defect, you should consider speaking to an attorney about your rights. Any time a complication is discovered in an infant, it is scary and devastating for the entire family. Our Zoloft® birth defect attorneys seek to help affected infants and their families get the compensation they need to move forward with their lives. Compensation can help pay for medical costs and care for the child.
To schedule a free and confidential evaluation of your case, please contact us today.