Tetralogy of Fallot is a congenital heart defect that causes low oxygen levels in the blood. It is classified as a cyanotic heart defects because it leads to cyanosis, the blue/purple skin color that result from a low level of oxygen in the blood. Congenital heart defects are present at birth. Tetralogy of Fallot results from abnormal development of the fetus in the mother’s womb.
Tetralogy of Fallot Involves 4 Related Heart Defects
While Tetralogy of Fallot is a relatively rare birth defect, it is the most common cyanotic heart defect. The classic form of Tetralogy of Fallot involves four related heart defects that appear together.
Ventricular Septal Defect (VSD): A hole in the wall that separates the left and right lower chambers (ventricles) of the heart.
Pulmonary Stenosis: A narrowing of the right ventricular outflow tract either at the pulmonary valve (pulmonary stenosis) or just below the pulmonary valve (infundibular stenosis).
Overriding Aorta: A shifting of the aorta (the artery that carries oxygen-rich blood to the body) from coming out only from the left ventricle to over the right ventricle and ventricular septal defect.
Right Ventricular Hypertrophy: A thickened muscular wall of the right ventricle.
A diagnosis of Tetralogy of Fallot always involves at least three of the four malformations. Tetralogy of Fallot also may present with several other heart defects. This combination of heart defects causes an insufficient amount of blood to reach the lungs to get oxygen. As a result, oxygen-poor blood flows out to the body.
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A baby who suffers from Tetralogy of Fallot may develop sudden episodes of Cyanosis, during which the baby’s skin, lips, and fingernails appear blue or purple. This blueish appearance results from a low oxygen level in the blood. These episodes, sometimes called Tet Spells, may occur from feeding, crying, or when the baby is upset.
Treatment of Tetralogy of Fallot
Tetralogy of Fallot is treated with open-heart surgery to repair the heart defects. Surgery is performed either shortly after birth or later during infancy. The timing of when the open-heart surgery is performed depends on how severe the pulmonary valve is narrowed in each specific case. Sometimes, more than one surgery is needed to help increase the blood flow to the lungs.
Prognosis for Babies Born with Tetralogy of Fallot
Most babies that suffer Tetralogy of Fallot at birth live to adulthood with proper treatment. They will, however, need lifelong medical care from heart specialists to help them stay healthy. Regular follow-up with a cardiologist is needed to to monitor for life-threatening irregular heart beats/rhythms called arrhythmias. Children who suffer continued, severe leaks of the pulmonary valve may have to undergo pulmonary valve replacement surgery.
Complications of Tetralogy of Fallot
Complications associated with Tetralogy of Fallot include the following:
- Delayed growth and development
- Irregular heart rhythms (arrhythmias)
- Seizures during periods of low oxygen levels
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Zoloft Tetralogy of Fallot Lawsuit
Concerned parents and across the United States are choosing to file claims for Zoloft Tetralogy of Fallot compensation. Zoloft lawsuits for Tetralogy of Fallot damages allege that drug company Pfizer failed to warn of the Tetralogy of Fallot side effects risks linked to use of the SSRI antidepressant drug Zoloft during pregnancy.
If you or a loved one took Zoloft during pregnancy and your baby suffered Tetralogy of Fallot, you may have a right to file a Zoloft lawsuit claim for financial compensation. Find out if you are entitled to a Zoloft Tetralogy of Fallot settlement.
Contact us now for a free, no-obligation consultation with an experienced Zoloft lawsuit attorney. Let us answer all of your Zoloft Tetralogy of Fallot lawsuit questions and help you recover the compensation you and your family deserve. Use the Zoloft attorney contact request form on this page or call us toll-free. 800-845-6913