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Coarctation of the Aorta in Chicago

Coarctation of the Aorta (CoA)

Coarctation refers to a narrowing of the aorta, which is the major artery leading from the heart. As this artery is responsible for pumping blood from the heart to vessels throughout the body, any such restriction in the passage can result in serious medical issues.

This congenital birth defect is more common in people with genetic disorders like Turner syndrome and affects about four out of every 10,000 babies born each year. It is often related to cerebral aneurysms as well as other heart defects like:

Diagnostic Tests

Although a coarctation of the aorta may be discovered soon after birth, it is usually not discovered until the child is much older. Some of the medical tests used to diagnose this congenital condition include:

  • Blood pressure testing to determine if the pressure in the arms is stronger than that in the legs
  • Checking if femoral (groin) pulse is weaker than carotid (neck) pulse
  • Chest x-rays
  • Aortography and cardiac catheterization
  • Echocardiography
  • MR Angiography (MRI)
  • Heart CT

Possible Complications

This condition is considered a critical Congenital Heart Defect (CHD) and often requires surgery. A number of surgical options are available, including balloon angioplasty and end-to-end anastomosis. But as with any serious surgery, complications can arise:

  • Endocarditis
  • Continued narrowing of the aorta
  • Stroke
  • High blood pressure
  • Kidney problems
  • Lower body paralysis
  • Aortic aneurysm
  • Brain bleeding
  • Heart failure
  • Aortic rupture
  • Aortic dissection

Medical Malpractice Claims for Coarctation of the Aorta Defects

If your child was born with a CHD, chances are very high that the doctor explained the condition to be genetic in nature and unavoidable. In many cases, this is in fact true - but not always.

Many drugs, medications, and outside influences can affect a developing fetus and lead to birth abnormalities, including heart defects such as coarctation of the aorta. In other circumstances, negligent medical care provided may make an otherwise treatable heart defect more severe or untreatable. When a doctor, OB/GYN, or other medical provider has negatively affected a patient in any of these ways, a lawsuit for medical malpractice may be the proper path to justice. Some of the possible types of negligence include:

  • Failing to perform an ultrasound as part of any routine pregnancy, in accordance with recommendations of the American College of Radiology.
  • Failing to perform follow-up ultrasounds or other diagnostic testing if potential problems are indicated.
  • Failing to perform pulse oximetry screening to help determine if the baby’s blood oxygen levels are low, as certain heart defects will produce lower oxygen levels.
  • Failing to thoroughly investigate a heart murmur; a murmur may be an indication of a congenital heart defect.
  • Failing to accurately diagnose such a defect, or failing to diagnose it at all.
  • Negligently prescribing medications to the pregnant mother such as SSRI anti-depressants known to affect fetal heart development.
  • Failing to promptly refer newborn to a pediatric cardiologist for immediate evaluation and possible surgical intervention.
  • Failing to recognize family genetic history of birth defects or other risk factors.

Contact a Chicago Coarctation of the Aorta Lawyer at Mitchell S. Sexner & Associates LLC

Since 1990, the Chicago congenital heart defect attorneys of Mitchell S. Sexner & Associates LLC have assisted people who have been affected by the medical malpractice of doctors and hospitals. Determining whether a birth defect such as a coarctation was in any way due to the negligence of a doctor or whether the diagnosis or treatment given adversely affected the baby is always difficult. There’s no need for you to try to make that determination alone. Call us 24 hours day for free information and to discuss your particular circumstances. If medical malpractice seems to have occurred and you would like our help, there’s never a fee unless we’re successful on your family’s behalf. Call us at (800) 996-4824.

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