Anal Atresia, also known as “imperforate anus,” is a congenital birth defect in which the anus is blocked or nonexistant. It always requires surgery to fix. Recent evidence has linked the maternal use of SSRIs, antidepressants, and other medications during pregnancy to an increased risk of anal atresia and imperforate anus. Many of these mothers are seeking now legal action against the drug-makers.
Do I Have an Anal Atresia / Imperforate Anus Lawsuit? Collen A. Clark is a true advocate for his clients and is passionate about helping Texans that have been injured or wronged. If you or a loved one has given birth to a child with a birth defect after taking an SSRI, antidepressants, or other medication during pregnancy, you should contact our lawyers immediately. You may be entitled to compensation by filing an Anal Atresia / Imperforate Anus Lawsuit.
Anal Atresia / Imperforate Anus Overview
Anal Atresia, or “imperforate anus,” is a birth defect that develops while a baby is in the womb, and is present at birth. A baby with this birth defect is born with no anus, or the anus is blocked. The anus is the opening in the rectum, through which stool exits the body. This birth defect occurs in approximately one out of 5,000 babies.
There are several forms of anal atresia:
- The rectum does not connect with the rest of the gastrointestinal tract
- The rectum has abnormal connections to the urethra, bladder, scrotum (in boys), or vagina (in girls)
- The rectum is narrowed abnormally
- The baby is born without an anus
What medications have been linked to Anal Atresia?
Women who are pregnant, considering pregnancy, or breastfeeding should consult a doctor about all prescription medications, over-the-counter medications, dietary supplements, and herbal supplements. Do not start or stop any medication without first consulting a physician.
SSRIs / Antidepressant Drugs: These medications have recently been linked to serious birth defects. Mothers who took these medications and had a baby with a birth defect are pursuing lawsuits against the drug-makers.
SSRIs and antidepressants include the following prescription medications:
- Paxil, Seroxat (paroxetine)
- Zoloft, Lustral (sertraline)
- Celexa (citalopram)
- Lexapro, Cipralex (escitalopram)
- Symbyax (fluxetine and olanzapine)
- Wellbutrin, Zyban (bupropion)
- Effexor (vanlafaxine)
Signs & Symptoms of Anal Atresia
Severe cases of Anal Atresia will be diagnosed upon the baby’s first physical examination, soon after birth, when the physician notices that the anus is abnormally located or nonexistent. More subtle cases may not be diagnosed until the parents notice that the child is unable to pass stools. In such cases, the parents must seek emergency attention immediately. Doctors will need to perform an imaging test (an X-ray, electrocardiogram, echocardiogram, or MRI) to more accurately view the extent of the birth defect and plan treatment.
Symptoms to look for when the baby is born:
- Anal opening very near the vagina in girls
- Baby does not pass stool within the first 48 hours after birth
- Missing or moved anal opening
- Stool passes through the vagina, scrotum, or urethra
- Swollen belly area
- No bowel control by the time the child is 3 years old
Treatment & Prognosis
The child will need to undergo surgery to correct this birth defect. Until surgery can correct the defect, the child will not be able to eat, and will need to be fed intravenously. If there is no anal opening, the surgeon will make an incision and connect a temporary colostomy (a bag is connected to the end of the intestine to collect the stool), until a physician can surgically repair the defect. Often, babies will be allowed to grow for 3-6 months until the surgeon can complete the surgery. The extent of the surgery will depend on how severe the anal atresia is, whether it connects to other organs, and other individual factors. It may be necessary for the surgeon to repair other organs if the birth defect involves more than just the anus. 60% of babies born with anal atresia also have other birth defects, usually including problems with the esophagus, urinary tract, and bones.
Anoplasty is a type of surgical repair, in which the surgeon makes and opening so stools can pass more easily. The surgery will also close any passages between other organs (“fistulas”) and put the rectal pouch in the anal opening.
In mild anal atresia, prognosis is usually very good, and most children can expect to have no complications later in the life. More serious cases may require additional surgery as the child ages. Sometimes, children who undergo complex surgeries may need to eat high-fiber foods, take stool-softeners, and sometimes use enemas.
Do I Have a Anal Atresia Lawsuit?
For a free consultation, please contact the Collen A. Clark at The Clark Firm, LLP immediately. You may be entitled to compensation by filing a Anal Atresia lawsuit.
Collen’s amazing success in the courtroom and well known dedication to his clients has earned him the recognition of his peers as one of The Top Trial Lawyers in Texas.”
The Clark Firm has assembled a team of trial lawyers with more that 100 years experience, participation in over 600 jury trials and $60 million in verdicts and/or settlements. Please use the form below to contact us for a free Anal Atresia birth defect lawsuit review.