Persistent Pulmonary Hypertension of the Newborn (PPHN) Birth Defects

Persistent Pulmonary Hypertension of the Newborn (PPHN) Birth Defects

The leading law firm of Alonso Krangle LLP is investigating potential lawsuits on behalf of families whose child may have been born with Persistent Pulmonary Hypertension of the Newborn (PPHN) because of their mother’s use of a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI) antidepressant during pregnancy. A growing body of research has linked the use of SSRI antidepressants to birth defects, including PPHN.

SSRIs that may be associated with the occurrence of PPHN include:

  • Celexa
  • Lexapro
  • Paxil
  • Prozac
  • Zoloft

PPHN is a life-threatening birth defect that can cause long-term health problems in children who survive the condition. The birth defect lawyers at Alonso Krangle LLP are leaders in defective drug litigation, and understand the difficult road families of children with PPHN must travel. If your child’s suffering was caused by an SSRI antidepressant taken during pregnancy, your family deserves compensation from the maker of that drug. Filing a SSRI PPHN lawsuit could enable you to obtain money damages for your child’s current and future medical needs, pain and suffering, and emotional distress. The birth defect lawyers at Alonso Krangle LLP are currently offering free lawsuit consultations in all 50 states to any family who believes an SSRI caused their baby to suffer PPHN. To learn more about obtaining justice for your baby, please contact the SSRI birth defect lawyers at Alonso Krangle LLP today.

What is PPHN?

PPHN is a life-threatening birth defect that is marked by high-blood pressure in the lungs, which prevents blood and oxygen from flowing through the lungs. This results in poorly oxygenated blood circulating through the body, which if not treated, could lead to brain damage or death. Early detection and diagnosis of PPHN is essential to the health and survival of the baby. The common signs and symptoms of PPHN include:

  • Rapid breathing and heart rate
  • A bluish tint
  • Grunting or other signs of breathing problems
  • Respiratory distress
  • Low oxygen levels

Children who survive PPHN may have chronic lung disease, seizure disorders and/or neurological difficulties. Feeding difficulties and hearing loss are also associated with PPHN. However, advances in treatments have improved outcomes for babies with PPHN. Today, less than 20% of infants with PPHN die, and only about one fifth of surviving infants experience long-term physical or developmental complications.

The cause of PPHN is usually unknown. Some researchers believe that pregnancy complications, such as maternal diabetes, high blood pressure or anemia, or delivery after 40 weeks, may increase the risk of developing PPHN. Use of certain medications may also play a role in the condition. For example, in February 2006, the New England Journal of Medicine published a study which found that use of the SSRI antidepressant, Paxil, after the 20th week of pregnancy increases the risk of PPHN by six times compared to a woman not taking an anti-depressant. Another study conducted by researchers at Sweden’s Karolinska Institute and published in the British Medical Journal in January 2012 found that found that babies exposed to SSRI antidepressants in-utero are two times as likely to be born PPHN compare to those who aren’t.

The type of treatment depends on the cause of PPHN and a baby’s ability to breathe on its own. Some babies only need an oxygen mask, while others require more invasive methods of respiratory therapy. The most serious cases will require the baby to be hooked up to an extracorporeal membrane oxygenation machine, which drains blood from the baby, adds oxygen and removes carbon dioxide, and then pumps the blood back into the body.

Learn more about Filing an SSRI PPHN Lawsuit

If your child was born with PPHN, and you believe an SSRI, including Celexa, Lexapro, Paxil, Prozac, or Zoloft, might be to blame, you may be eligible to file a lawsuit against the manufacturers of these medications. To learn more about the legal options available to you, please contact the SSRI birth defect lawyers at Alonso Krangle LLP by filling out our online form or calling 1-800-403-6191.