Lexapro Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome Lawyers

Cardiac birth defects are among the most common side effects of taking an SSRI antidepressant like Lexapro during pregnancy.  There are a number of cardiac birth defects that can be linked to Lexapro, and one of the most serious of them is called hypoplastic left heart syndrome (HLHS), which is usually fatal without treatment.

If your child was born with hypoplastic left heart syndrome and you took Lexapro during pregnancy, you may consider filing a dangerous drug lawsuit to hold negligent drug manufacturers responsible.  Our Lexapro cardiac birth defect lawyers are ready to hear your story in a free legal consultation where you can learn more about your rights.

Call us at 1-888-554-2889 to speak to a Lexapro cardiac birth defect lawyer personally. We offer:

  • A free, no-obligation case evaluation with a Lexapro birth defect attorney
  • No fee unless we win your case
  • Flexible appointments
  • Home and hospital visits

What is Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome?

In a healthy heart, there are four individual chambers that blood flows through before being recirculated to the rest of the body.  The upper and lower chambers on the right side (the right atrium and ventricle) pump blood to the lungs, where it is oxygenated.  The newly-oxygenated blood then flows into the left atrium and ventricle and is pumped into the aorta.

When a baby is born with hypoplastic left heart syndrome, the left side of the heart is underdeveloped.  The left ventricle, which pumps oxygenated blood to the rest of the body, is either very small or absent.  The mitral and aortic valves on the left side of the heart are also underdeveloped; in some cases they are entirely closed.  The aorta is also underdeveloped (hypoplastic), which means that less blood is distributed to the organs and tissues throughout the body.

Results of Lexapro Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome

A newborn with hypoplastic left heart syndrome may at first appear in good health because blood flows to the body mostly through the ductus arteriosis, a shunt in the heart that closes a few days after birth.  Another fetal shunt, the foramen ovale, is also open until shortly after the birth and it allows blood to flow from the right and left atria.  It is not until these shunts naturally close that hypoplastic left heart syndrome is diagnosed in many cases.

Without a placenta to supply fresh blood to the baby, his or her oxygen level will slowly decline.  Then, when the ductus arteriosis closes, blood flow to the baby’s body becomes very limited and the infant begins to show signs of shock.  Without prompt medical intervention, the baby will die.

Treatment for Lexapro Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome

Hypoplastic left heart syndrome is treated in a three-step process known as staged reconstruction.  While it is not possible to totally fix the underdeveloped structures on the left side of the heart, staged reconstruction allows doctors to build alternative routes through which blood can reach the lungs and the rest of the body.  In some cases, the three operations to fix hypoplastic left heart syndrome are not enough to save the infant and a heart transplant is necessary.

Lexapro and Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome

Lexapro and other SSRI antidepressants taken during pregnancy have been linked to hypoplastic left heart syndrome and other serious cardiac birth defects such as atrial and ventricular septal defects, or holes in the heart.  In a Danish study involving nearly 500,000 children, it was found that the use of Lexapro and other SSRI drugs early in pregnancy doubled the risk of a cardiac (heart) birth defect.  The researchers in Denmark also found that women who took an SSRI like Lexapro during the second and third months of pregnancy had an 84% higher risk of having a baby with a serious heart defect. 

Other Lexapro Birth Defects

In addition to hypoplastic left heart system and atrial and ventricular septal defects, babies born to mothers who took Lexapro during pregnancy are at an increased risk for the following potentially fatal birth defects:

  • Anal Atresia
  • Aortic Stenosis
  • Club Foot
  • Coarctation of the Aorta
  • Craniosynostosis – cranial skull defect
  • Esophageal Stenosis
  • Gastroschisis – abdominal wall defect
  • Heart Murmur
  • Hypoplastic Right Heart Syndrome (HRHS)
  • Mitral Valve
  • Omphalocele
  • Patent Ductus Arteriosus (PDA)
  • PPHN (persistent pulmonary hypertension of newborns)
  • Pulmonary Atresia
  • Pulmonary Stenosis
  • Spina Bifida
  • Tetralogy of Fallot (TOF)
  • Transposition of the Great Arteries / Vessels
  • Tricuspid Atresia
  • Tricuspid Valve (Ebstein’s Anomaly)
  • Tricuspid Valve Stenosis
  • Truncus Arteriosus
  • Valve Problems – malformed or stuck and won’t close

Contact a Lexapro Cardiac Birth Defect Lawyer

If you gave birth to a child with hypoplastic left heart syndrome after taking Lexapro or another SSRI antidepressant during pregnancy, you may be able to pursue compensation for costly medical bills and other damages in a dangerous drug lawsuit.  Our Lexapro cardiac birth defect lawyers believe that drug manufacturers should be held accountable when they are negligent in their duty to warn patients and doctors of the risks associated with their drugs.  Compensation from a Lexapro heart defect lawsuit can allow you to provide the best care for a child born with a birth defect.  To learn more about your rights, contact our Lexapro cardiac birth defect lawyers for a free legal consultation.