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Transposition of the Great Arteries

Transposition of the great arteries is a congenital heart defect in which the location of the two major blood vessels—the pulmonary artery and the aorta—are switched. As a result, the body is deprived of oxygen-rich blood, impairing its ability to function properly. Transposition of the great arteries is part of a class of congenital defects known as conotruncal heart defects, which also includes Tetralogy of Fallot.

In the normal heart, oxygen-poor blood is pumped from the heart, through the pulmonary artery and to the lungs, where it is enriched with oxygen. After returning to the heart, this oxygen-rich blood is pumped through the aorta out to the rest of the body.

In children with transposition of the great arteries, the location of the pulmonary artery and the aorta is reversed. As a result, oxygen-rich blood from the heart is pumped to the lungs via the pulmonary artery, while oxygen-poor blood is pumped directly back to the body through the aorta.

Children who are born with a transposition of the great arteries may exhibit a blue color of the skin (cyanosis) because their body does not receive enough oxygen in the blood that is pumped from the heart. For this reason, transposition of the great arteries is known as a congenital cyanotic heart defect.

The location of the pulmonary artery (1) and aorta (2) are reversed.

Other symptoms of the condition include shortness of breath, poor appetite and poor weight gain. Although cyanosis is the most recognizable symptom of transposition of the great arteries, children who are born with additional birth defects such as atrial septal defects or ventricular septal defects—which can allow some oxygen-rich blood to travel through the body—may not exhibit a bluish color of the skin until they are more active.

According to a study published in the New England Journal of Medicine, children whose mothers took Zoloft during pregnancy may be more likely to suffer from transposition of the great arteries than those who were not exposed to antidepressants. Many families have filed Zoloft lawsuits against the manufacturer of the antidepressant, alleging that they were improperly warned about the risk of heart defects associated with Zoloft.

If you or a loved one took Zoloft during pregnancy and gave birth to a child with transposition of the great arteries or other birth defects, you may qualify 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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