Persistent Pulmonary Hypertension of the Newborn
Persistent pulmonary hypertension of the newborn is a life-threatening disorder in which the newborn's arteries to the lungs remain constricted after delivery, limiting the amount of blood flow to the lungs and therefore the amount of oxygen into the bloodstream. Newborns who have PPHN are typically full-term or near-term infants who are born without associated congenital abnormalities, yet present after birth with severe respiratory failure. Babies born with this condition often require intubation and mechanical ventilation. Despite this treatment, 10 to 20 percent of affected infants do not survive.
We represent hundreds of families across the nation whose babies were born with PPHN or various birth defects to mothers who took an antidepressant during pregnancy. Mothers who have taken antidepressants such as Celexa or Lexapro, during their pregnancy because they thought it was safe have given birth to babies with PPHN or birth defects ranging from cleft lip to life-threatening congenital heart defects and, in some cases, the babies have been required to get full heart transplants.
On July 19, 2006 the FDA issued a PPHN health warning, urging the manufacturers of certain SSRI antidepressants to change their prescribing information to describe the potential risk of PPHN. The FDA was prompted to issue this warning because of a recent study published in the New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM) by Christina Chambers of the University of California, San Diego, in which she found a six-fold increased risk of persistent pulmonary hypertension (PPH) in infants born to mothers who took an antidepressant in the last trimester of pregnancy. Some of the drugs with the potential of causing PPHN are:
Our birth defect legal team consists of 10 attorneys from two prestigious law firms that have more experience handling antidepressant birth defect cases than any other firm in the country. Baum, Hedlund, Aristei & Goldman and Robinson Calcagnie Robinson Shapiro Davis, Inc. have created a joint venture in order to prosecute the firms' SSRI antidepressant birth defect cases. A large team of plaintiffs' attorneys from both firms are working together on these cases. Both firms have many years of experience handling pharmaceutical product liability, mass tort litigation and consumer class actions against major drug companies. Anyone in need of an antidepressant birth defect lawyer should contact us for a free consultation.
Baum Hedlund has been at the forefront of antidepressant litigation for more than 20 years. We have seen, first hand, the harm antidepressants can cause and are extremely motivated by our clients’ tragic stories. In our representation of our clients, we dig deep into drug company files to discover the truth about what the company knew about the drug’s risks, when the company knew of those risks and what efforts, if any, the company took to hide those risks. Only through legal action can anyone gain access to this information. We fight hard to get this information into the public domain to prevent others from having to endure similar tragedies. This is why we filed the first PPHN lawsuit in the United States. We are extremely concerned about the association between certain antidepressants and PPHN.
Robinson Calcagnie Robinson Shapiro Davis, Inc. (RCRSD) is one of the nation’s leading products liability and personal injury law firms and is led by Mark P. Robinson, Jr., who has achieved a stellar verdict record and has won countless attorney awards over the past three decades. RCRSD partner, Karen Barth Menzies, has many years experience handling antidepressant litigation.
Lawsuits related to SSRI antidepressants and birth defects have been filed in many states over the past couple of years. RCRSD and Baum Hedlund are a formidable team to aggressively lead the litigation and trial of these cases.
Since the FDA is seeking additional information about the possible risk of PPHN in newborn babies of mothers who took antidepressants in pregnancy, we urge you to report your child’s case to the FDA through their MedWatch program at http://www.fda.gov/medwatch.
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