Tetralogy of Fallot in Chicago
"Tetra" means four. In this critical congenital birth defect, four heart defects combine to reduce the proper flow of oxygen-rich blood to the body. The four congenital defects are:
- Pulmonary Stenosis: A narrowing of the main pulmonary artery and pulmonary valve;
- Ventricular Septal Defect: A hole in the wall that separates ventricles (two lower chambers) of the heart;
- Ventricular Hypertrophy: A thickening of the muscular wall of the right ventricle;
- Enlarged aortic valve which appears to open from both ventricles rather than from only the left ventricle.
Because of the severity of this defect, surgery is usually performed soon after birth. This surgery may include a replacement or widening of the pulmonary valve along with an enlargement of the accompanying pulmonary artery. A patch over the ventricular septal defect will further improve blood flow.
Some babies with Tetralogy of Fallot may have:
- Cyanosis: bluish skin
- Tet spells: suddenly develop bluish skin when agitated or after feeding
- Delayed development and growth
- Fainting, seizures, or dizziness
- Arrhythmia: irregular heart beat
- Endocarditis: higher risk for heart infection
Medical Malpractice Claims Involving Tetralogy of Fallot Defects
Although congenital heart defects such as Tetralogy of Fallot are usually genetic in nature or the result of unknown causes, there are many instances in which a doctor’s negligence may play a part. Some of these circumstances include:
- The doctor may have failed to take into account a patient’s family history of birth defects, or the existence of other risk factors at a time when the mother’s pregnancy should have been more closely monitored.
- The doctor may have failed to conduct an ultrasound to look for evidence of heart defects, or failed to conduct or monitor the ultrasound properly.
- The doctor may have failed to diagnose the condition at all or diagnosed it too late.
- The doctor may have prescribed medications or drugs that have been linked to congenital heart defects in pregnant women.
- The doctor may have failed to call for follow-up diagnostic testing when a heart murmur or other indications of heart defect were present.
- The doctor may have failed to consult other experts or refer the infant to a specialized surgeon or pediatric cardiologist.
- The cardiac surgeon may have made a mistake during corrective surgery, or the doctor may have failed to properly treat the abnormality.
Contact a Dedicated Chicago Tetralogy of Fallot Birth Injury Attorney
It’s never easy to determine whether a doctor or surgeon failed in their duty to professionally diagnose or treat a heart abnormality. It’s also very difficult to determine whether a heart defect was a naturally-occurring condition or whether a doctor contributed to the problem. But don’t just wonder. Free information is available from Chicago birth injury lawyers at the law offices of Mitchell S. Sexner & Associates LLC. Call (800) 996-4824 if you believe your family has been affected by medical malpractice. There is no charge for the consultation. Contact us today.
- Tetralogy of Fallot - American Heart Association
- Tetralogy of Fallot - Mayo Clinic
- What Is Tetralogy of Fallot?