Persistent Pulmonary Hypertension of the Newborn (PPHN)
Medical Malpractice and Birth Injury Lawyers in North Jersey
After infants are delivered, their lungs must begin to function outside of the their mother’s womb, exchanging oxygen and carbon dioxide. Persistent pulmonary hypertension of the newborn (PPHN), also known as persistent fetal circulation, is a serious condition that occurs when a baby’s circulatory system does not adequately oxygenate the blood and properly distribute it to the organs. In order for successful lung functioning, the ductus arteriosus must entirely seal, typically on the first day of a life. When an infant has persistent pulmonary hypertension of the newborn (PPHN), the ductus arteriosus does not sufficiently close, leading to increased blood pressure in the lungs. This condition then signals the body to direct the blood away from the infant’s lungs, which prevents the blood from becoming adequately oxygenated. When PPHN occurs, doctors and other medical professionals must recognize and respond to this life-threatening condition in a timely manner in order to prevent lack of oxygen to other organs, particularly the brain. Failure to do so may result in brain damage, Cerebral Palsy, or even death.
At Fronzuto Law Group, our seasoned New Jersey medical malpractice lawyers aggressively advocate for victims of neonatal malpractice, birth injuries, and obstetrician negligence across the state. With a commitment to providing personalized attention to every client, as well as highly effective representation to obtain maximum damages, we have achieved millions of dollars in verdicts and settlements on behalf of victims and their families. For instance, we recently recovered $3,825,000.00 in a case involving doctors who failed to diagnose and treat infant respiratory distress. Our support goes beyond dollars and cents: when we become involved with your case, you find a team of highly experienced professionals who are dedicated to walking you through every phase of the legal process. If you suspect that medical negligence contributed to your child’s injury or condition, contact our Passaic County offices at 973-435-4551 or complete our online contact form. One of our knowledgeable NJ medical malpractice lawyers will be happy to answer all of your questions and outline your available legal options.
Causes of Persistent Pulmonary Hypertension of the Newborn
Persistent Pulmonary Hypertension of the Newborn (PPHN) can be caused by a wide variety of factors and underlying conditions. Some of the potential causes of PPHN include:
- Maternal infection that is passed to the fetus (fetal infection)
- Oxygen deprivation during delivery (birth asphyxia)
- Low blood sugar
- Abnormal lung growth or underdeveloped lungs
- Mother’s use of certain antidepressant medications during pregnancy: primarily selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRI’s) such as Paxil, Zoloft, and Prozac
- Fetal respiratory distress syndrome
- Meconium aspiration syndrome
Persistent Pulmonary Hypertension of the Newborn Symptoms
The vast majority of cases involving Persistent Pulmonary Hypertension of the Newborn will present symptoms within the first 12 hours after delivery. Some of the most common symptoms of PPHN are as follows:
- Rapid breathing (tachycardia)
- Labored breathing
- Rapid heart rate
- Blue-tinted skin (cyanosis)
- Low levels of oxygen in the blood
It is absolutely essential that doctors and medical professionals identify PPHN as soon as possible, as the consequences of failure to do so can be catastrophic, if not fatal. There are a variety of diagnostic tests and procedures that may be used to confirm PPHN, including: echocardiogram, chest x-ray, complete blood count (CBC), and arterial blood gas levels test.
Complications of Persistent Pulmonary Hypertension of the Newborn
The complications of untreated PPHN, or delayed treatment of PPHN, can be severe and permanent. Some of the potential complications caused by Persistent Pulmonary Hypertension of the Newborn include:
- Heart failure
- Kidney damage or failure
- Brain hemorrhage
- Hypoxic or anoxic brain injury
- Brain damage
- Cerebral Palsy
- Cognitive impairment
- Developmental delays
- Hearing loss
If medical professionals fail to recognize the symptoms of PPHN, to order appropriate tests, and to begin immediate treatment, any of the aforementioned complications may occur. In the most tragic cases, PPHN can cause multiple organ failure and death.
Contact New Jersey Neonatal Malpractice Lawyers Today
If your child suffered from persistent pulmonary hypertension of the newborn (PPHN) and you believe that medical negligence may have contributed to a long-term injury or condition, contact our New Jersey neonatal malpractice attorneys for immediate assistance. One of our highly experienced lawyers will listen to the specific circumstances of your case and discuss your potential grounds for a claim.