Missouri Birth Defects Attorneys
Birth defects are health problems or conditions that are present at birth. Birth defects change the shape or ability of one or more body parts, affecting the child's overall health and development. According to the March of Dimes, about 120,000 children are born each year in the United States with some type of birth defect. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports birth defects are the leading cause of infant deaths nationwide. One out of 33 babies in the United States is born with a birth defect.
Birth Defects Caused by Dangerous Drugs
Many birth defects are caused by prescription drug use. Many drugs, even ones purchased over the counter, are NOT safe during pregnancy. It is your doctor's responsibility to determine if a drug is safe to take during pregnancy. It’s also the doctor's responsibility to educate pregnant women about the potential dangers of taking certain drugs.
Here are a few examples of medications that can cause birth defects:
- Accutane - A prescription drug used to treat acne, Accutane is extremely dangerous for pregnant women. Another dermatological drug, Soriatane, is so dangerous for babies that it should not be taken for three years prior to getting pregnant.
- Antibiotics - Certain antibiotics such as sulfa drugs and tetracyclines can cause birth defects.
- Anti-cancer drugs - Many anti-cancer drugs have been linked to defects such as cleft palate and underdevelopment.
- Antidepressants - Paxil has been linked to heart birth defects and Prozac can cause primary pulmonary hypertension, heart defects, neural tube defects and cleft lip/cleft palate.
- Anti-seizure medications - Anticonvulsants have been linked to facial defects and spina bifida.
- Aspirin - Even over the counter aspirin have been linked to birth defects when taken late in pregnancy.
Contaminants in the environment such as chemicals and industrial products are responsible for about 10 percent of all birth defects. Chemicals are present in the home, workplace, food sources and even air and water. Birth defects can happen when pregnant women are exposed to these contaminants or toxins.
Employers and property owners have a responsibility to protect their employees from substances that cause developmental malformations. Here are examples of some of the environmental contaminants that could result in birth defects:
- Lead - An extremely harmful and hazardous substance that could be passed on from contaminated water from lead pipes and other means. Birth defects caused by lead exposure include neurological damage, developmental delays and undescended testicles in males. Even low levels of lead in the blood can pose a danger to a child's central nervous system.
- PCBs - Polychlorinated biphenyl could result in birth defects such as chronic brain damage and decreased mental abilities. PCBs are present in motor manufacturing facilities, switches, transformers and other electrical equipment. It is also found in industrial residue.
- Organic Solvents - Solvents such as paint thinners, alcohols, inks and degreasers are commonly used at home and work to dissolve other substances. Exposure to organic solvents during the first trimester of pregnancy could increase the risk of birth defects such as clubfoot, spina bifida and deafness.
Contacting an Experienced Missouri Birth Injury Lawyer
If your child suffered a birth defect because of defective drugs or environmental contaminants you were exposed to in the workplace, you and your child may be able to seek financial compensation for damages. Contact an experienced Missouri personal injury attorney at Page Law to further understand your rights. Contact us at (314)322-8515) to schedule your no-cost consultation and case evaluation.