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Houston Birth Injuries Legal Blog

Can prescribed drugs taken while pregnant cause birth defects?

The shortest answer to the title question is yes, certain prescription drugs can lead to birth defects when taken by pregnant mothers. However, not every drug a doctor may prescribe will cause problems for your fetus.

Most expecting parents experience a great amount of concern over possible birth defects. Such concern is normal and, in most cases, unwarranted. In other cases, however, birth defects are the result of improper health care practices such as prescribing dangerous medication to pregnant women. Below you will find a list of prescription drugs that could harm your unborn baby.

  • Narcotics like codeine, hydrocodone and morphine
  • Blood pressure regulation medications such as Capoten and Vasotec
  • Epilepsy management drugs like Depakote, Tegretol and Stavzor
  • Depressive disorder medicines such as Prozac and Paxil
  • Some severe acne treatment drugs like Accutane
  • Anticoagulant medications such as Warfarin

Childbirth complications and consequences of medical neglect

When you learn that you're pregnant, it is natural to feel happy and nervous at the same time. Especially if this is your first child, you may wonder what type of parent you'll be and whether or not you'll be able to meet all your child's needs. Other experienced Texas parents might encourage you by saying you will know what's best for you child, and your love and support is all he or she needs to thrive.

It's a lovely sentiment but only partially true. For instance, during pregnancy, labor and delivery, your child also needs proper medical care. You have a right to reasonably expect that your midwife or obstetrician is closely observing your and your baby's conditions, and is ready to make split-second decisions, if necessary, to keep you and your baby as safe as possible. Sadly, that's not always the case, as made evident by thousands of birth injuries in this state and others, every year.

Your birthing team and medical support choices

Having a baby may be one of the most exciting, yet challenging experiences of your life. Whether you are brand new at labor and delivery or have had several other children, every pregnancy is unique; you have control over some issues, but others, you must take as they come. For instance, you can't do much about weight gain, although you can control your diet to make sure you are providing much-needed nutrients to your own body and your child.

You will likely be reading a lot about pregnancy and the birthing process, so you at least feel somewhat prepared and know what to expect. Each hospital or birthing center has its own protocol. You can talk with your obstetrician ahead of time to learn more about who will be part of your birthing team and also to discuss your preferences to create a healthy, peaceful birthing environment. Sadly, not all births go as planned, and some mothers or infants suffer injury due to medical negligence.

Pursuing mental anguish damages after negligent birth injuries

Aside from the death of a newborn, nothing is more traumatic to parents than learning their child has suffered birth injuries due to medical provider negligence. To say that these situations cause parents to suffer extreme mental anguish is a huge understatement. As parents ourselves, we have no trouble understanding why these parents want to bring these negligent health care providers to justice.

You may already know that you can seek economic damages if your child suffers from preventable birth injuries. This is your right as a parent and any compensation acquired from legal action can ensure your injured child receives the right medical treatment. Pursuing damages for pain and suffering, however, is a different matter altogether.

Cerebral palsy: How you, as a parent, can help your child

Having a baby can be one of the most exciting, joyful, yet challenging experiences of your life. It can also be quite stressful or tragic, if something goes wrong during the labor, delivery or postpartum processes. Sadly, medical negligence often leads to serious birth injuries, such as cerebral palsy, that devastate parents of newborns and cause infants to suffer permanent disability.

As a Texas parent of a child with cerebral palsy, you're an integral component of his or her medical team. While there will likely be difficult days ahead, some more-so than others, a cerebral palsy diagnosis doesn't necessarily mean your child cannot overcome the challenges of his or her condition in order to live as high quality a life as possible. Parents in your situation do well to learn where to seek additional, outside support when needed.

How do brachial plexus injuries in newborns occur?

Expectant parents in Texas are typically very excited about the prospect of having a new baby. When birth injuries compromise the life and well-being of infants, these parents deserve answers. They need to know how the injury occurred. They need to know who is at fault for the injury. Perhaps most importantly, they need to know what they can do to improve the life of their baby going forward.

Brachial plexus injuries in newborns occur when the nerves providing muscle control and sensation in the fingers, hand, arm and shoulder are overly stretched. These injuries can occur for several reasons such as:

  • The baby is very large with wide shoulders
  • The mom's labor goes on for a long time
  • The baby is not in the correct position during birth

How financial compensation helps babies born with birth defects

Two words that no Texas parent ever wants to hear are "birth defects." The power of these two simple words is devastating. They can destroy the dream of having a normal, healthy family and they can result in catastrophic financial hardships to name just two consequences.

When parents learn that their infant is suffering from birth defects or injuries, the last thing on their minds is the financial costs of these afflictions. These parents want to make their babies feel loved, cared for and as pain-free as possible. Unfortunately, accomplishing all of these goals and others often requires access to a large source of funds.

Do the benefits of using forceps during birth outweigh the risks?

Perhaps you are one of many women here in Texas who enjoyed an uneventful pregnancy. You have no reason to believe that the labor and delivery will be any different.

Then, before you even realize what is happening, your obstetrician tells you that he or she needs to use forceps to deliver your baby. What went wrong? Is using forceps really necessary or does it put your baby at unnecessary risk? Should your doctor have acted sooner? After a birth injury, you may find yourself asking these questions.

Did your doctor ignore the warning signs of preeclampsia?

You could compare the labor and delivery portion of your pregnancy to the landing of an airplane. The whole flight may be smooth, but in the home stretch, any number of issues could arise and cause the plane to crash.

You could say the same about yourself. Somewhere between 5 and 8 percent of women suffer from preeclampsia near the end of their pregnancies. If not treated right away, it could turn into eclampsia or HELLP syndrome, both of which could have dire consequences for you and your baby's health. As it turns out, the best treatment for this condition is the delivery of your baby.

When preventable birth trauma leads to cerebral palsy

Just the natural yet traumatic process of being born can lead to health problems or even injuries in newborn babies. When the medical team responds appropriately, many of these conditions resolve safely and quickly. However, an improper medical response to trauma or even a mistake on the part of the birthing team could result in lifelong consequences for the infant.

Cerebral palsy caused by birth trauma is one such condition that has a lasting effect on a newborn baby. Any number of complications can lead to palsy, but when it occurs because of medical malpractice, it is especially devastating for families. In some cases, malpractice may occur not because of what medical professionals do but because of what they do not do.

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