Atrioventricular Septal Defect

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Also referred to as AVSD, atrioventricular septal defect is a cardiologic deformity described by a hole formed between the right and left sides of the heart. As a result, the valves that are responsible for transporting blood between the two sides are also malformed and do not send blood to the correct locations. This condition involving these malfunctioning valves is known as atrioventricular canal defect and typically exists in association with AVSD. Because of the additional blood, the heart and the lungs often work harder than usual to perform for the body which can lead to congestive heart failure.

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Types of AVSD

There are two types of atrioventricular septal defects that can occur. These often depend on the structures not fully or correctly formed. It is important to know which type of AVSD your child may have and how it affects him or her.

The two types of AVSD are:

  • Complete AVSD – Defined by a large hole in the center of the heart affecting all four of its chambers. This occurs when the common atrioventricular valve fails to separate into the tricuspid and mitral valves during pregnancy. In addition, the walls between the upper and lower chambers do not form completely to meet at the center of the heart.
  • Partial / Incomplete AVSD – This occurs when the heart has only a few abnormalities or incomplete AVSD. Typically, there is a hole in the atrial wall or ventricular wall, but both of the common valves are usually present, however, they may not be completely closed.

Both types of AVSD can affect the way blood flows through the heart and consequently, the body. These conditions typically involve a number of corrective surgeries to avoid potential problems in the future. Babies born with AVSD often experience trouble breathing, weak pulse, leg or belly swelling, fatigue, trouble feeding, and other symptoms.

Determining the Cause of Atrioventricular Septal Defect

When it comes to birth defects such as atrioventricular septal defect, determining the cause is extremely important. These types of conditions have been linked to the mother’s use of selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) and other medications during pregnancy. Prescription drugs and antidepressants such as Prozac, Zoloft, Paxil, and others are potentially linked to the development of birth defects if the mother takes them while pregnant.

We invite you to contact our lawyers today – we are here to help you determine the cause of your child’s atrioventricular septal defect and take legal action if necessary!

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