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Ventricular Septal Defects

Ventricular septal defects are a type of congenital heart defect in which the wall between the two lower chambers of the heart (ventricles) fails to fully form during pregnancy. As a result, the baby is born with an opening between the heart ventricles which allows oxygen-rich and oxygen-poor blood to mix and forces the heart to have to work harder in order to pump blood.

Larger ventricular septal defects may overfill the lungs and overwork the heart’s ability to pump blood. Over time, this excessive strain on the heart may lead to heart failure, stroke or other heart problems.

Symptoms of ventricular septal defects may include:

  • bluish or pale colored skin
  • rapid breathing
  • poor feeding
  • tiredness or fatigue
  • swollen legs or feet
  • rapid heart rate

Ventricular septal defects are one of the most common types of heart defects and can occur alone or in combination with other heart defects. When ventricular septal defects occur together with three other heart defects—pulmonary stenosis, overriding aorta and ventricular hypertrophy—the condition is known as tetralogy of Fallot.

Use of the antidepressant Zoloft while pregnant can increase the risk of giving birth to a child with ventricular septal defects or other congenital heart conditions. The New England Journal of Medicine warned in a 2007 study that women who use the Zoloft during the first trimester of pregnancy are twice as likely to give birth to a child with atrial septal defects as non-users.

If you or a loved one used Zoloft during pregnancy and gave birth to a child with ventricular septal defects or other birth defects, you may be eligible to file a lawsuit. For a free legal consultation, contact the lawyers at Hissey Kientz, LLP by calling toll-free at 1-866-275-4454, or by filling out the free case evaluation form located on this page.

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