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Persistent Pulmonary Hypertension of the Newborn (PPHN) is a failure of the circulatory transition that typically occurs after birth. PPHN has been identified as a type of condition or birth defect associated with antidepressant birth defects.
In the uterus, a baby’s circulation bypasses the lungs. That is, the lungs are not needed to exchange oxygen because the placenta supplies the baby with the oxygen through the umbilical cord. After birth, the pulmonary artery carries blood from the heart to the lungs. While in the womb, the pulmonary artery instead carries the blood directly back to the heart through a fetal blood vessel called the ductus arteriosus.
Normally, after a baby is born and begins to breathe air, its circulatory system quickly adapts to outside air and the lungs are utilized to exchange oxygen. The pressure in the lungs changes as air enters and inflates the lungs. The ductus arteriosus, which previously supplied the fetal heart with blood, is no longer needed and closes. As a result, blood returning to the heart from the body can now be pumped into the lungs.
However, in a baby with PPHN, the circulatory system does not make this circulatory switch. The ductus arteriosus remains open and the blood is not properly oxygenated. Moreover, the arteries in the lungs stay restricted reducing the amount of oxygen in the blood stream. If not corrected, the heart will have to pump harder to properly fill up the arteries in the lungs, creating higher pressure in the pulmonary artery.
Craniosynostosis is where one or more of the “fibrous sutures” in an infant’s skull prematurely fuses together. This premature binding of the skull eliminates the skull’s elasticity necessary for the brain to develop and grow. Craniosynostosis is a birth defect that has been referred to as a type of antidepressant birth defect. There are three types of craniosyostosis:
Omphalocele is a birth defect where the intestine and /or other abdominal organs stick out of the belly button or naval cavity of an infant. Thus, the baby’s intestines are only covered or protected by a thin layer of transparent tissue. Omphalocele has been identified as a type of antidepressant birth defect.
An omphalocele defect can easily be diagnosed on an ultra sound in utero because the organs clearly protrude from the stomach. Omphalocele defects are treatable but require surgical intervention. Depending on the seriousness of the omphalocele, a child may make a complete recovery. Others may have intestinal infections and digestive problems.
Clubfoot defects refer to a range of congenital foot abnormalities. These birth defects can be mild or severe and include either one or both feet. Club foot has been identified as a type of antidepressant birth defect. In general, a clubfoot has a sharp angle to the ankle, like the head of a golf club. Typically, the clubfoot twists the top of the child’s foot downward and inward. In some cases, the birth defect may be so severe that the foot looks like its turned upside-down. Treatments can range from splints to surgeries depending on the severity.
Anal atresia is also referred to as imperforate anus. This is a birth defect where the rectum is malformed. Anal atresia is a type of antidepressant defect. Generally, the rectum and the anus are not in place at the end of the gastrointestinal system. There are three types of anal atresia: low lesion; high lesion; and, a persistent cloaca. Diagnostic tools can be used to identify the type of birth defect. Generally, immediate surgical intervention is required for this birth defect.
Spina bifida is a common but debilitating birth defect. Spina bifida is the type of birth defect that has been associated with antidepressant birth defects. Spina bifida means “split spine.” There are approximately eight babies born every day with spina bifida.
Spina bifida is referred to as a neural tube defect in which the fetal spinal column doesn’t close completely during the first month of pregnancy. Typically there is nerve damage that causes at least some degree of paralysis in the legs. Therefore, many people with spina bifida will need assistive devices. Furthermore, they may have urinary and bowel problems. There are four types of spina bifida: occult spinal dysaphism (OSD), spina bifida occulta, meningocele, and myelomeningocele.
Cleft palate and cleft lip defects are craniofacial birth defects. Cleft lip defects and cleft palate defects have been associated with antidepressant birth defects. A cleft lift and palate can affect the appearance of the face and lead to problems with feeding and speech. The cleft lip birth defect generally appears as a small notch in the lip. A cleft palate birth defect can be on one or both sides of the roof of the mouth. In fact, a cleft palate birth defect may go the whole length of the palate. Cleft palate birth defects can change the shape of the nose and the alignment of the teeth.
Typically surgeries are performed to close a cleft lip. This surgery usually takes place between 6 weeks to 9 months old. Similarly, surgery can be performed within the first year of life to close the cleft palate.