Tetralogy of Fallot
Written by Andrew Sarski on December 12, 2011
Tetralogy of Fallot
Tetralogy of Fallot birth defects may pose life-threatening risks for affected children, and medical malpractice lawsuits may be filed as a result. If you have been the victim of a medical error, contact a birth defect attorney today.
Tetralogy of Fallot is a type of congenital cyanotic heart defect which causes low oxygen levels in the blood. At birth, children with this condition may show no signs of cyanosis (bluish tint to the skin), although they may later develop sudden episodes of bluish skin from feeding or crying. Tetralogy of Fallot is the most common type of cyanotic congenital heart disease and is often diagnosed during infancy or soon after. However, this birth defect may not be detected until later in life, depending on the severity of the defects and the associated symptoms. With prompt diagnosis and treatment, many children with tetralogy of Fallot live relatively normal lives, although they will need regular medical care and may have restrictions on exercise. If your child was born with the birth defect, tetralogy of Fallot, and you believe a medical mistake to be the cause, contact a qualified birth defect attorney to discuss your child’s potential entitlement to lifetime care.
Tetralogy of Fallot Described
The classic form of tetralogy includes four related defects of the heart and its major blood vessels. These include:
- Ventricular septal defect (a hole in the wall separating the right and left ventricles of the heart)
- A thickened muscular wall of the right ventricle (right ventricular hypertrophy)
- Narrowing of the pulmonary outflow tract (the valve and artery that connect the heart with the lungs)
- Overriding aorta (the artery that carries oxygen-rich blood to the body) that is shifted over the right ventricle and ventricular septal defect, instead of coming out only from the left ventricle
Common symptoms of tetralogy of Fallot include difficulty feeding, clubbing of the fingernails, failure to gain weight, passing out, cyanosis and poor development.
Tetralogy of Fallot Treatment and Outlook
All children born with tetralogy of Fallot require surgery to repair the defect, which is usually performed when the infant is very young, and some children require more than one surgery to correct the malformation. Most cases of tetralogy of Fallot can be corrected with surgical treatment, and 90% of affected babies survive to adulthood and live healthy, active lives. Without surgery however, death usually occurs by the time the individual reaches 20 years of age. In some instances, children with this birth defect may suffer from serious complications like delayed growth and development, seizures during periods where there is not enough oxygen, irregular heart rhythms, and even death.
Birth Defect Attorneys for Tetralogy of Fallot Injuries
Tetralogy of Fallot occurs during fetal growth when the baby’s critical heart structures are developing, and can lead to severe and potentially fatal complications. If you or a loved one has suffered from tetralogy of Fallot, which you believe to be caused by a medical error, contact an experienced birth defect lawyer to discuss your compensation options. You may have grounds to file a medical malpractice lawsuit against the allegedly negligent doctor, Ob/Gyn or hospital charged with your care, in order to seek fair and timely reimbursement for your injuries, medical expenses, and pain and suffering. You are not at fault for any injuries caused by the allegedly inadequate training or practice of a medical professional, and you should not be held responsible for the resulting consequences. With the help of a skilled birth defect attorney, you can collect the compensation you deserve and protect yourself from further harm.