National Birth Defect Prevention Month
January 2013 is “National Birth Defect Prevention” month, with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) focusing on efforts designed to reduce the rates of children born with severe birth defects or malformations, which are a leading cause of infant mortality in America.
As part of National Birth Defects Prevention Month, the CDC is focused mainly on some major, well-known causes of birth defects, such as tobacco and alcohol use, uncontrolled diabetes, women failing to consume enough folic acid during pregnancy, and failing to achieve a healthy weight before and during pregnancy. However, there are also a number of commonly-used drugs that have been linked to birth defects as well, including Depakote, Topamax, Paxil and Zoloft.
The CDC reports that one out of every 33 infants born in the United States will suffer from birth defects. Such defects attribute to 20% of the nation’s infant mortality rate. Often, if the children survive, they have to deal with life-long physical and mental problems and frequently require extensive medical care, sometimes for the rest of their lives.
Common birth defects include:
- Oral Cleft Defects
- Congenital Heart Malformations
- Neural Tube Defects
- Spina Bifida
- Persistent Pulmonary Hypertension in Newborns (PPHN)
- Physical Malformations
Our lawyers have seen the devastating impact that these birth defects and malformations can have on the quality of life for a child and for the family. While the CDC campaign is focused on efforts that mothers and health care providers can take to reduce the risk of babies being born with severe health defects, a number of children have been put at risk by drug manufacturers’ failure to adequately warn about the risk of use during pregnancy.
As a result of the drug makers’ failure to adequately warn about the risk of birth defects, financial compensation may be available for children born with problems after their mothers were given medications during pregnancy, including Depakote, Topamax, Paxil, Zoloft and other medications. Free consultations and claim evaluations are provided by the lawyers at Saiontz & Kirk, P.A. to help families determine if a child may be eligible to pursue a birth defect lawsuit.