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Persistent Pulmonary Hypertension (PPHN)

According to our New York PPHN Injury Lawyer team at Stephen Bilkis & Associates, PLLC, persistent pulmonary hypertension of the newborn (PPHN) arises from the lack of newborn circulatory system adaptation to outside breathing.

This birth injury occurs when an infant is born and takes the first few breaths, the lung blood pressure decreases, and the lung blood flow increases. Carbon dioxide and oxygen are exchanged, and the blood returns to the heart and is pumped back throughout the body. The ductus arteriosus reduces in diameter and permanently closes during the first day following birth. However, in some instances, the lung blood pressure remains the same and the ductus arteriosus does not constrict, allowing blood flow to be diverted away from the lungs.

While in the womb, the fetus gets oxygen through the umbilical cord from the placenta. The lungs require little blood supply. With a high lung blood pressure, pulmonary artery blood is diverted away from the lungs through the ductus arteriosus, or fetal blood vessel, to other organs. Although rare, PPHN is a life-threatening condition. Our New York PPHN Lawyer staff at Stephen Bilkis & Associates, PLLC has found PPHN most often arises from a difficult birth, infection or birth asphyxia in full-term or post-term infants.

There are numerous signs and symptoms indicating PPHN. The New York Medical Malpractice Lawyer group at Stephen Bilkis & Associates, PLLC has learned rapid heart rate is among the common signs and symptoms of PPHN, along with rapid breathing, respiratory distress, cyanosis, heart murmur and low oxygen levels.

With a healthy newborn, the root cause of PPHN is typically unknown. In many cases, the development of PPHN may be the result of medical malpractice arising during delivery or following birth. The New York Injury Lawyer group at Stephen Bilkis & Associates, PLLC concludes PPHN often arises from several forms of medical malpractice, including:

  • Failure to diagnose and treat infection of the mother
  • Failure to diagnose and treat infection of the fetus
  • Failure to prevent birth asphyxia
  • Unnecessary cesarean section
  • Medication errors, such as prescribing antidepressants during pregnancy

The prescribed usage of antidepressants, such as Paxil, Zoloft, Celexa and Prozac, during pregnancy may lead to an increase of lung blood pressure allowing the blood to be diverted from the lungs following birth resulting in PPHN. Oftentimes, antidepressant-induced PPHN may be temporary and reversible. Our New York PPHN Lawyer staff at Stephen Bilkis & Associates, PLLC has learned two out of one thousand births suffer from PPHN induced by antidepressants.

Medical malpractice may also arise from the failure to diagnose and treat PPHN. PPHN is a serious medical condition requiring extensive monitoring and critical treatment. Even with treatment, PPHN may continue to elicit a deficient delivery of oxygen to the body leading to heart failure, shock, intracranial hemorrhage, seizure, organ damage, kidney failure and death. If your child is suffering from PPHN as the result of medical malpractice, our highly skilled New York PPHN Injury Lawyer team at Stephen Bilkis & Associates, PLLC will fight for your rights and the monetary compensation you deserve.

If you or someone you love is suffering from PPHN, contact our New York Medical Malpractice Lawyer team with Stephen Bilkis & Associates, PLLC for a free initial case evaluation. Please call us at 800.696.9529, online or contact one of our New York City offices in Manhattan, Staten Island, Queens, the Bronx or Brooklyn, our New York office in Westchester County or one of our Long Island offices in Nassau County or Suffolk County.