Gastroschisis is a severe congenital birth defect of the abdominal wall, in which a baby is born with its intestines partially outside the body, protruding through a hole in the umbilical cord. The Centers for Disease control is warning the public that babies born to mother who have taken SSRIs, antidepressants, and some other types of medications are more likely to be born with Gastroschisis and other serious, life-threatening birth defects.
Do I Have a Gastroschisis 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 (such as Paxil, Zoloft, Celexa, Wellbutrin, Lexapro, Symbyax, Effexor) or other medication during pregnancy, you should contact our lawyers immediately. You may be entitled to compensation by filing a Gastroschisis lawsuit.
What drugs have been linked to Gastroschisis?
A wide range of medications can cause birth defects if a mother takes them while she is pregnant. Consult a physician to determine which drugs are necessary during your pregnancy. Tell your doctor about all over-the-counter drugs, prescription medications, dietary supplements, and herbal supplements, because these may have serious effects on an unborn child. Do not start or stop any medication without first consulting a physician.
SSRIs / Antidepressant Drugs:
- Paxil, Seroxat (paroxetine)
- Zoloft, Lustral (sertraline)
- Celexa (citalopram)
- Lexapro, Cipralex (escitalopram)
- Symbyax (fluxetine and olanzapine)
- Wellbutrin, Zyban (bupropion)
- Effexor (vanlafaxine)
Gastroschisis is a type of rupture in the abdominal wall, also known as a “hernia”. It is similar to another type of abdominal-wall birth defect called omphalocele, but unlike this condition, the intestines are not covered with a membrane.
Gastroschisis affects roughly 1 out of every 5,000 live births, usually to mothers who are under 20 years old. It develops while the baby’s abdominal wall is developing. Normally, all babies initially develop the intestines, stomach, and liver outside the body, and then the abdominal wall forms around the organs. In a baby with Gastroschisis, the abdominal wall forms with the organs outside the body.
The severity of the birth defect will depend on how large the opening is in the abdominal wall. In a less severe case, the hole is large and there is room in the baby’s abdomen for the protruding organs — making it relatively simple for a surgeon to place the organs inside and close the hole. But in more severe, cases, the hole in the abdomen pinches the intestines and damages them. The abdomen may also form without room for the internal organs, requiring a more complex surgical procedure to repair the defect.
Signs & Symptoms of Gastroschisis
- Lump in the abdomen
- Intestines sticking out through the abdominal wall near the umbilical cord
Gastroschisis is usually diagnosed before the baby is born, when an ultrasound technician produces an image of the unborn child. In these cases, the mother will need to be monitored carefully. Because of the risk of damaging the baby’s exposed intestines, the mother will need to deliver the baby with a C-section.
Doctors will also probably recommend that the baby be delivered prematurely (at around 36 weeks or after the lungs have developed), to reduce the risk of damage to the baby’s intestines. Surgery to repair the defect will occur as soon as the infant is stabilized, usually within 12-24 hours after birth.
Treatment & Prognosis
If the abdominal cavity is large enough to hold the intestines, surgery has a high rate of success and low complications. An abdominal cavity that is too small may require stages of treatment and multiple surgeries.
Soon after the baby is born, it will undergo surgical repair. In the least severe cases, a surgeon will put the bowel into the abdominal cavity and close the hole in abdomen. In more serious cases, in which the abdominal cavity is too small, the treatment will occur in multiple stages over a period of time. The surgeon attaches a protective material around the protruding organs and gradually returns them to the abdominal cavity. During this time, the baby will be given nutrients intravenously, because the intestines will be unable to process food.
If the abdomen is not large enough to house the intestines and other internal organs, putting the intestines inside the body may make it difficult for the baby to expand its lungs, leading to serious breathing problems.
Do I Have a Gastroschisis 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 Gastroschisis 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 Gastroschisis birth defect lawsuit review.