Pulmonary Hypertension of the Newborn or PPHN occurs when a newborn's circulation system does not adapt to breathing outside the womb. While in the womb, a fetus gets its oxygen from its mother's placenta through the umbilical cords, so the lungs need little blood supply. There is an elevated blood pressure in the lungs, so blood in the pulmonary artery is re-routed away from the lungs to the other organs through a blood vessel, called the ductus arteriosus.
When a baby is born and takes its first breaths, the blood pressure in the lungs falls and there is an immediate increase of blood flow to the lungs. The lungs begin to function properly and oxygen and carbon dioxide are exchanged. The oxygenated blood leaving the lungs is then returned to the heart and pumped back out to the body. The ductus arteriosus constricts and permanently closes in the first day of life. However, in babies suffering from Pulmonary Hypertension of the Newborn (PPHN), the pressure in the lungs remains high and the ductus arterious remains open, allowing blood to be directed away from the lungs. This causes oxygen to be low in the blood and can damage lead to damaged organs.
PPHN is a rare, but life-threatening condition. It occurs most often in full-term or post-term babies who have had a difficult birth, or conditions such as infection or birth asphyxia, in which a baby receives an inadequate amount of oxygen during delivery.
If you were on Paxil during your pregnancy and your child suffered from a heart condition, it is imperative that you speak with an attorney immediately to protect you interests. A Paxil Patient Advocate is available to speak with you anytime to find out more about your case. Call 1-800-554-4109 for more information.
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