The preventable tragedy of PPHN

The birth of a baby should be a joyous occasion; unfortunately, sometimes that joy is marred by fear, uncertainty and even the unthinkable pain of death. Persistent Pulmonary Hypertension of the Newborn, or PPHN, is a life-threatening disorder in which the baby’s arteries to the lungs remain constricted after delivery, limiting blood flow to the lungs. It is a rare, but life-threatening condition that affects term or near-term infants who are otherwise healthy, and it often requires intubation and mechanical ventilation. Even with medical intervention, 10 to 20 percent of affected infants do not survive.

It’s a frightening, frustrating time for new parents made even more frustrating by the fact that PPHN is often caused by second and third trimester use of SSRI antidepressant medications like Celexa, Lexapro, Paxil, Prozac and others. The problems with these drugs have become so apparent, so prevalent that in 2006, the first lawsuit was filed, and Paxil Attorneys went into action. They dig into drug company files to find the truth about the drug’s risks, and how much the company knew about them.

PPHN is a very serious condition that requires extensive and expensive monitoring and equipment. The effects of PPHN can be far reaching, even resulting in long-term physical or developmental complications. Learning About PPHN is the first step in preventing further cases. If you or a loved one has been affected by the tragedy of PPHN, no amount of money is going to make your pain go away. But the only way to change the way drug companies do business is to affect their bottom line.