Craniosynostosis is a birth defect affecting the skull or brain development, in which the sutures between the bone-plates fuse prematurely, and the child is born with a misshapen or abnormally small head. Surgery may be possible to relieve pressure and improve cosmetic appearance, though severe cases are untreatable and may result in severe neurological impairments. Pregnant women who took certain medications during pregnancy may have an increased chance of having a baby with Craniosynostosis. Medications include SSRIs, antidepressants, Paxil, Celexa, Wellbutrin, Zoloft, Symbyax, Lustral, Effexor, Lexapro, and more.
Do I Have a Craniosynostosis 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, antidepressant, or other medication during pregnancy, you should contact our lawyers immediately. You may be entitled to compensation by filing a Craniosynostosis lawsuit.
What is Craniosynostosis?
In a newborn with normal skull development, the skull is split up into separate bone-plates that are connected by soft tissue. This allows the baby’s skull to flex slightly during birth. After the baby is born, the skull and the brain continues to grow larger. Ultimately, the separate bone-plates fuse together into a complete skull.
In a baby born with craniosynostosis, the bone plates fuse prematurely, usually before the baby is born. This restricts the growth of the brain and the skull. Sometimes, this condition is caused by an underlying abnormality affecting brain development.
Craniosynostosis may be diagnosed when a baby is born. It may also be diagnosed as the child ages, when he or she exhibits developmental delays. If craniosynostosis in an infant is suspected, a physician will order a CT scan, which provides an image of the skull. The fused bone-plate sutures will be visually apparent.
In children who have a fusion of 1-2 sutures, surgery is usually an option. For children who severe craniosynostosis resulting in a significantly smaller head (or microcephaly), surgery is not an option.
Paxil, Zoloft, Celexa, Lexapro, Wellbutrin, Lustral, Symbyax, and Effexor linked to Craniosynostosis
Herbal supplements, dietary supplements, prescription medications, and over-the-counter medications can all cause serious birth defects to your unborn child, so talk to your doctor if you are pregnant or thinking about become pregnant, and taking any of these medications. Do not start or stop taking any medication without first consulting a physician.
SSRIs / Antidepressant Drugs: What is the problem with these medications? There is growing evidence that links antidepressants and SSRIs to a variety of birth defects, including craniosynostosis. Many women whose babies have been injured are now seeking legal action against the drug-companies.
- Paxil, Seroxat (paroxetine)
- Zoloft, Lustral (sertraline)
- Celexa (citalopram)
- Lexapro, Cipralex (escitalopram)
- Symbyax (fluxetine and olanzapine)
- Wellbutrin, Zyban (bupropion)
- Effexor (vanlafaxine)
Types of Craniosynostosis
Primary craniosynostosis: This is when the bone-plates fuse together prematurely, inhibiting the growth of the brain and skull.
Secondary craniosynostosis: This is when the brain stops growing prematurely, allowing the bone-plates to fuse prematurely.
Saggital synostosis: This is when the bones fuse together along the ridge on top of the head. The skull develops in a long and narrow shape. The most common type of craniosynostosis.
Coronal synostosis: This is when one seam between the ears and the top of the head fuses prematurely. The forehead may be flattened, the eye sockets may be raised, and the nose may be deviated from center of the face.
Bicoronal synostosis: This is when both seams between the ears and top of the head (on both sides of the head) fuse prematurely, making the forehead flat and elevated.
Signs & Symptoms of Craniosynostosis
It is important to remember that many babies develop a misshapen head as a result of always sleeping on that side. This is more common since the National Institute of Child Health launched the “Back to Sleep” campaign that recommended babies sleep on their back to reduce the risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS).
The most common complications are increased pressure on the brain. This can cause a series of complications, including developmental delays, impaired speech, and vision problems. Children may also usually suffer from low self-esteem and behavioral issues. If untreated, craniosynostosis may cause blindness, seizures, brain damage, and death, in rare cases. Untreated cases can also result in permanent facial deformities, problems with speech, constrictions to the child’s ability to breathe, and psychological problems related to self-esteem.
Some symptoms to look for in your child:
- An abnormally shaped skull
- An abnormal feeling or disappearing “soft spot” (fontanel) on your baby’s skull
- Slow or no growth of the head as your baby grows
- Development of a raised, hard ridge along affected sutures
- Increased pressure within the skull (intracranial pressure)
Treatment & Prognosis
Mild cases of craniosynostosis that involve only one part of the skull may require no treatment, and often become unnoticeable after the child grows hair. Some children may also benefit from cranial molds that help reshape the skull as the child grows.
In most cases, however, surgery is necessary to relieve pressure inside the skull and provide the brain with enough room to continue growing. A cranio-facial surgeon and a neurosurgeon often work as part of a team during the operation. During the procedure, the surgeon makes an incision in the child’s skull. Then they reshape the skull, and use plates and screws to keep the skull in the correct position. The child will need periodic monitoring as it grows older to ensure that the skull expands and grows normally.
The long-term outlook for a child with craniosynostosis depends on the severity of the birth defect. The prognosis is best for children with no other underlying abnormalities.
Do I Have a Craniosynostosis Lawsuit?
For a free consultation, please contact Collen A. Clark at The Clark Firm, LLP immediately. You may be entitled to compensation by filing a Craniosynostosis 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 Craniosynostosis birth defect lawsuit review.