Chicago Ventricular Septal Defect Lawyers
Ventricular Septal Defect
A VSD is a congenital birth defect that appears as a hole in the wall between the two ventricles of the heart. As a result, oxygen-rich blood enters through the septum hole into the left ventricle, mixing both oxygen-rich and oxygen-poor blood and therefore sending extra, oxygen-rich blood to the lungs. The lungs and heart must then work harder.
Although some small holes will close over time, generally if this condition is not repaired surgically, complications including high blood pressure (pulmonary hypertension), heart failure, stroke, or an irregular heart beat (arrhythmia) may result.
A Ventricular Septal Defect is often diagnosed shortly after birth, although in some cases not until much later in life. In addition to diagnostic tests such as an ultrasound or echocardiogram, some of the signs and symptoms of a VSD may include:
- A whooshing sound called a heart murmur
- Poor weight gain
- Shortness of breath
- Tiredness during feeding
A baby with this birth defect may have a hole in more than one location on the septum. Some of the common names and locations include:
- Muscular Ventricular Septal Defect: The most common type; it involves a hole at the muscular, lower part of the septum.
- Perimembranous Ventricular Septal Defect: A hole located at the upper section of the septum.
- Conoventricular Ventricular Septal Defect: A hole near where the septum should meet the aortic and pulmonary valves.
- Inlet Ventricular Septal Defect: A hole located near where blood will enter the ventricles via the mitral and tricuspid valves.
Medical Malpractice Claims for Ventricular Septal Defects
Although a ventricular septal defect is considered a congenital condition, negligence on the part of a doctor or surgeon may still give rise to a claim for medical malpractice. Some of the errors which may support a negligence claim involving this heart defect include:
- Negligent evaluation of fetal heart: According to the guidelines of both the American Institute of Ultrasound in Medicine and the American College of Radiology, an evaluation of the fetal heart should be a routine part of any pregnancy. If you were either not offered an ultrasound or believe that the ultrasound was improperly performed, our firm can help determine if any negligence occurred. A failure to properly examine the heart may be considered medical malpractice.
- Failure to diagnose before birth: It’s very important that cardiovascular problems be identified before birth. Depending upon the severity of the VSD, it may be advisable that the newly born infant be placed directly into a special care center so that a pediatric cardiologist can immediately begin care. During this time, the specialist can evaluate whether surgical intervention is a good idea, and if so, when it should take place. A failure to do so may be negligence.
- Failure to properly treat infant: Although a small VSD may not be a cause of concern, a larger VSD may eventually cause pulmonary hypertension. If left untreated, this condition may lead to irreversible damage to lung arteries (Eisenmenger’s Syndrome). Other complications like stroke, endocarditis, heart failure or heart arrhythmias could also result from the lack of proper treatment.
- Medication related heart defects: Although a VSD is often the result of genetics, in some cases, a VSD may be the result of certain drugs or medications taken during pregnancy. Of special concern are antidepressants called SSRIs (Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors). These drugs, usually prescribed for depression, include Lexapro, Prozac, Zoloft, Paxil, Prozac and Celexa. Your doctor must properly supervise and regulate any and all medications taken during pregnancy. When an abnormality occurs because a doctor has failed in his or her duty, a lawsuit against the doctor or the drug company may be an appropriate remedy.
Contact an Experienced Chicago Ventricular Septal Defect Attorney
It is the responsibility of your doctors to carefully manage your pregnancy and monitor the healthy growth of your fetus. That is your right. But if you believe that a congenital defect such as a VSD was either the result of a doctor’s negligence or a drug company’s failure to produce a safe drug, we can help. In other cases, a VSD may have been unavoidable, but might have been detected earlier or treated more effectively. We can help you in those cases as well.
Since 1990, the legal team at Mitchell S. Sexner & Associates LLC has been helping those affected by medical malpractice. Millions have been collected for our clients and their families. Call our Chicago congenital heart defect attorneys 24 hours a day for free information at (800) 996-4824. There is never a fee unless we are successful on your behalf.
- Facts about Ventricular Septal Defect - CDC
- Ventricular Septal Defect (VSD) - Mayo Clinic
- Ventricular Septal Defect - MedlinePlus