Birth Defect Lawyer | Medical Malpractice Lawsuit
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Each year, 1 in every 33 babies is born with a birth defect. That is one baby every 4.5 minutes, and approximately 120,000 babies every year in the United States alone. It can be difficult for parents to understand the causes of why their baby was born with birth defects. These questions may be difficult for anyone to answer. Although the causes of many birth defects are unknown, many studies have found links between birth defects and certain medications and chemicals. These studies have brought parents into courtrooms seeking answers through birth defect lawsuits. If you believe your child’s birth defects were caused by prescribed medications, contact a Carlson Law Firm Birth Defect Lawyer. We are available 24/7 to discuss your case.
For more than 40 years, our firm has protected the rights of those injured by another person’s negligence. We have the in-house resources required to go up against major pharmaceutical companies. If your loved one was injured by a dangerous drug, medical incompetence or a negligent employer, contact us to schedule your free consultation today.
If you believe your child’s birth defect was caused by another party’s negligence, give us a call today. A qualified Birth Defect Lawyer from our firm will be able to help guide you through the legal process.
What are birth defects?
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), birth defects are serious conditions that change to the structure of one or more parts of the body. Birth defects can range from mild to severe, and the seriousness of the defect often depends on the area of the body affected.
One of the last things new parents may consider when their child has an issue is to file a birth defect lawsuit. Many people think that birth defects are completely natural and can happen to any child, but a good birth defect lawyer can determine the difference between nature taking its course and negligence on someone’s part. A qualified personal injury lawyer can help you determine if a birth defect lawsuit is the right option for you.
What Causes Birth Defects?
In some cases, genetics may lead to birth defects. Medical scientists are still trying to determine the true origins of many of these defects, but conditions such as Down syndrome come from a genetic abnormality in one or both of the parents. A mother who drinks alcohol or takes illegal drugs during her pregnancy is putting her child at serious risk for birth defects. Smoking cigarettes during a pregnancy can cause problems to develop for the child as well. Another cause of birth defects can be improper medical treatment during pregnancy.
A doctor who prescribes a medication that is known to cause birth defects or prescribes a dosage that is dangerous to the developing child can cause birth defects. Employers who knowingly put pregnant women in situations where they can be exposed to chemicals that can be harmful to the child can also be negligent. A good birth defects lawyer can help to separate all of these situations and determine if a birth defect was caused by someone’s negligence or by genetics.
How do medications cause birth defects?
Medications can pass from the mother to the unborn child. Because medications alter functions in the body, they may have a direct impact on a growing fetus.
It is well known that birth injuries and defects can be caused by alcohol and illegal drugs. However, some people may be surprised to learn that there are serious risks linked to prescription-based medications. These medications are linked to serious infant health risks for pregnant or nursing mothers. While experts may consider several medications safe, medical professionals have a responsibility to ensure medication prescribed to pregnant patients is medically necessary. When doctors fail to account for a woman’s pregnancy, they may prescribe medication that is harmful to her unborn child.
Pharmaceutical companies are required to report any problems with medications to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Additionally, the FDA has guidelines for labels about the medication’s effect on pregnancy and a growing fetus.
How does a negligent medical professional lead to birth defects?
A failure to diagnose means that a healthcare provider failed to properly detect and diagnose an illness. Medical staff must have the knowledge, experience and training to care for a mother and her infant’s needs. Unfortunately, there is a risk that mistakes will occur. Infections, gestational diabetes or even failure to detect fetal distress can lead to birth injuries.
Healthcare providers can miss a condition or misdiagnose the condition as something else. But in cases where the patient is pregnant and these mistakes lead to birth injuries, parents can file a medical malpractice claim. A failure to diagnose occurs for many reasons. These reasons include a failure to:
- Monitor and detect maternal infections.
- Monitor or detect gestational diabetes.
- Conduct a proper physical exam.
- Review a mother’s medical history.
- Detect fetal distress.
- Order proper tests and screenings.
- Detect and diagnose if the infant is breech.
- Detect the infant is too large for a normal delivery.
- Diagnose and treat infant health problems such as jaundice.
- Detect, diagnose and treat maternal preeclampsia.
Many of these conditions are preventable. When caught and treated, a mother can give birth to a healthy baby. If you or your child were injured because of medical negligence, contact The Carlson Law Firm. We have a qualified birth defect lawyer ready to assist. Call us today for a free consultation.
Other ways birth defects may occur
Another way a child can be born with a birth defect is from being exposed to environmental factors such as contaminants and chemicals. Employers have a responsibility to protect employees from harmful or hazardous work environments. There are several ways a baby can be injured from environmental work exposure.
For example, during pregnancy lead should be avoided at all times. This substance passes freely from mother to child via the placenta. Lead risk exposure arises from handling crystal, ceramics, scented candle wicks, plastic handle grips and arts and crafts materials. Additionally, lead may also contaminate drinking water via lead pipes. Other substances that create a dangerous work environment include the following:
- Arsenic Cadmium
- Carbon monoxide
- Organic solvents
- Methyl Ethyl Ketone (MEK)
- Glycol ethers
Exposure to these chemical hazards through food, drink, medication, absorption through the skin or mucous membranes and inhalation threaten a pregnant woman and her growing baby. If you or a loved one were injured through workplace environmental hazards, contact The Carlson Law Firm. We are here 24/7 to help.
What are Common Birth Defects?
According to the CDC, about 3 percent of all babies born in the United States are born with a birth defect. The effects of prenatal exposure to drugs affect the development of unborn babies in numerous ways.
- Cleft Palate
- Club Foot
- Fusion of fingers, toes or limbs
- Congenital Heart Defects (Heart abnormalities)
- Septal Heart Defects (Hole in the heart)
- Fetal death/stillborn
- Mental Retardation/Down Syndrome
- Brain and Skull Deformities
- Spina Bifida
- Hypoplastic Heart Syndrome
- Persistent Pulmonary Hypertension (PPHN)
- Many more
Although many of birth defects may occur because of natural reasons, in many cases they don’t. When medical malpractice or dangerous drugs are responsible for birth defects, you have options. Contact The Carlson Law Firm to discuss a possible medical malpractice lawsuit with a Birth Defect Lawyer.
Prescription Drugs and Birth Defects
About 90 percent of all pregnant women use prescription or over-the-counter (OTC) drugs at some point during their pregnancy. While many of these are safe to use when expecting, many types of drugs pose the threat of birth defects and should not be used by pregnant women. Doctors have a responsibility to prescribe to pregnant women only those medications that are absolutely necessary and that are safe for consumption during each particular stage of pregnancy. Failure to follow this medical standard may make this medical professional responsible for any birth defects with which a child is born.
Teratogenic medications can cause birth defects in three ways: 1) they can damage the fetus directly; 2) they can damage the placenta or umbilical cord, thus increasing the risk of birth defects; and 3) they can cause uterine contractions that can injure the fetus or cause premature delivery.
If a loved one suffered an injury during birth, a birth defect lawyer can help. The following are just some of the known drugs to cause birth defects:
While penicillins, cephalosporins, and erythromycins are generally considered safe, tetracyclines, sulfa drugs, ciprofloxacin, and other antibiotics can cause birth defects when taken by a pregnant woman.
Tranquilizers, sleeping pills, and anti-anxiety drugs can cause problems in newborns including breathing, temperature regulation, and muscle problems.
Accutane and related dermatological drugs
Accutane poses an extremely serious risk of birth defects or death. This drug should never be used by a pregnant woman under any circumstances. Soriatane is also a dermatological drug that is extremely harmful to a developing fetus, and should not be used by any woman for three years prior to conception.
Aspirin and other drugs in the same family (salicylates) can cause birth complications and birth defects when used late in pregnancy.
- Paxil: In 2005, the FDA warned that Paxil can double the risk of heart birth defects when used during the first trimester of pregnancy.
- Prozac: In 2006, a major study found that Prozac also doubled the risk of delivering a child with the birth defect PPHN (Primary Pulmonary Hypertension).
Teratogens such as Busulfan, Chlorambucil, Cyclophosphamide, Mercaptopurine, and Methotrexate can cause serious birth defects including cleft palate, underdevelopment, other physical defects and mental retardation.
Anticonvulsants such as Topiramate and Valproate can cause serious birth defects including spina bifida, organ deformities, cleft palate, and facial defects.
Certain thyroid medications
Methimazole is a medication prescribed to treat issues that arise from thyroids such as Grave’s disease. The medication is linked to birth defected including aplasia cutis, choanal atresia, esophageal atresia, umbilical cord problems, and omphalocele.
The use of low-level teratogens during pregnancy may lead to birth malformations.
Blood pressure drugs
Women who take ACE inhibitors and other blood pressure medications have been linked to an increased risk of having babies with birth defects.
Approximately 3 percent of pregnant women use asthma medications. While the use asthma medication did not increase the risks of most birth defects, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, they did increase the risks for defects such esophageal atresia, anorectal atresia, and omphalocele.
In addition to an increased risk of miscarriage, receiving a live vaccine while pregnant for the measles, mumps and rubella may increase the risk of a woman’s baby congenital rubella syndrome. This condition may lead to vision loss due to cataracts and other eye defects, heart defects, small head size and developmental delay. However, the most common symptom is hearing loss. The CDC recommends waiting 28 days after immunization with a rubella-containing vaccine before trying to get pregnant.
Lithium is a mood stabilizer that doctors prescribe to treat bipolar disorder. Babies exposed to lithium in the first trimester have higher risks of major malformation such as heart defects.
While some birth defects can be partially or completely corrected by surgery, others are not treatable and a child may live with the challenges of the defect their entire life. Parents may also be responsible for ongoing medical care and assistance for the child.
These birth defects can cause hardship on the baby and parents and can even cause the loss of the baby. One of the culprits are medications medical professionals prescribe to women. If your baby suffered injuries from a dangerous drug, contact The Carlson Law Firm. We have a qualified birth defect lawyer ready to discuss your case.
Medications linked to Birth Defects
There have been a number of drugs, both prescription and over-the-counter, that have led to serious birth defects and other congenital abnormalities to unborn children. The list of medications that studies have linked to birth defects in babies including the following:
If you or a loved one suffered injuries because of a medication, contact The Carlson Law Firm to speak with a qualified birth defects attorney. We offer free, no-obligation consultations.
Failure to Diagnose Birth Defects
In some cases, a birth defect may be so severe that parents may make the extremely difficult decision to terminate the pregnancy. In fact, to avoid health risks to the mother, unnecessary pain and suffering of the child, and more. Medical professionals should carefully screen for birth defects as part of a mother’s prenatal care.
If a medical professional should have identified a severe birth defect and failed to do so, parents may be able to hold the doctor liable for their unnecessary losses by filing a medical malpractice claim. If you want to discuss whether you may have a medical malpractice lawsuit involving your child’s birth defect, please call a Birth Defect Lawyer from our firm to discuss your case today.
Birth Defect Attorney: How The Carlson Law Firm Can Help
The Carlson Law Firm has the experience and the resources to pursue a birth defect claim on your behalf. Our firm specializes in protecting the rights of individuals affected by personal injuries. A birth defect lawyer can help you determine if moving forward with a birth defects lawsuit is the right option for you.
If you or someone you know has a child with birth defects after taking any of these medications, contact a birth defect lawyer immediately. The Carlson Law Firm has a defective drug department that may be able to help you receive compensation for your losses. Contact us for a free consultation to see if you have a case.