Paxil Spina Bifida
Several Paxil spina bifida birth defect lawsuits have been filed on behalf of parents whose babies suffer from this and other congenital defects. Some infants are born with problems affecting the heart, such as atrial and ventricular septal defects. Others are born with defects that involve the brain and cranium; these include craniosynostosis and anencephaly. Still others suffer from clubfoot, esophageal stenosis, and anal atresia. One of the most serious Paxil side effect in children involves the spinal column. It is called spina bifida.
Spina bifida is a congenital disorder in which the spinal cord, vertebrae, and nearby nerves fail to develop normally. In many cases, a section of the spinal cord develops outside the infant’s body. Below, we’ll describe different types of the condition, and explain how physicians diagnose and treat it.
Paxil and Spina Bifida
There are three main types of the disorder. Each is categorized according to how much of the spinal cord and other structures protrude outside the body. Spina bifida occulta is a minor form of the condition in which none of the structures stick out of the baby’s body. The spinal cord, vertebrae, and fluid-filled sac remain contained. Sometimes, a visible marker, such as a hairy patch over the affected area, will underscore the abnormality. Other times, no such marker is present.
Meningocele is a more serious form of the condition. Here, a part of the spinal cord’s fluid-filled sac can be seen outside the body, though the vertebrae develop normally. This is the least common type of spina bifida.
Myelomeningocele is a form of the disorder in which a section of the spinal cord, along with nearby nerves, develops externally. Both the spinal cord – which becomes lodged between the vertebrae – and nerves are visible within the fluid-filled sac. This is the most severe type of spina bifida, and exposes the baby to potentially fatal infections.
Depending on the severity of the disorder, a baby suffering from this Paxil birth defect may present several different symptoms. Among the most common are constipation and incontinence (fecal or urinary), paralysis of the legs, and a loss of sensation below the abnormality. As noted earlier, the baby may also develop a small patch of hair near the defect.
Over 80 percent of infants born with spina bifida also suffer from a condition called hydrocephalus. This is a disorder in which fluid builds up inside the skull. Referred to as “water on the brain,” it can expose the baby to nerve damage and long-term physical disabilities.
How Spina Bifida Is Detected And Treated
Spina bifida is usually detected and diagnosed during pregnancy. A blood test called the quadruple screen can be taken between weeks 15 and 20 to screen for markers that suggest myelomeningocele. If results from the blood test are positive (i.e. spina bifida is a risk, though unconfirmed) prenatal ultrasound can be done to investigate further.
Results from ultrasound imaging may be inconclusive. In such cases, a third test called amniocentesis is performed. A long needle is introduced through the abdomen into the amniotic sac, and a sample of fluid is withdrawn. This sample is then examined for further signs of spina bifida.
Once the condition has been diagnosed, the doctor’s priority turns to preventing infection of the structures outside the baby’s body. A C-section delivery is performed to minimize the risk. Following childbirth, the newborn is placed into intensive care. If the baby’s spinal cord or other structures are outside her body, plans are made for surgical intervention to correct the defect.
Paxil spina bifida birth defects is one of many serious side effects linked to this antidepressant. It is technically incurable. While a surgeon can correct the protrusion of the baby’s spinal cord and fluid-filled sac, he or she cannot restore lost sensation. Nor can the doctor improve the infant’s capabilities that rely on the affected muscles. If your baby is suffering from spina bifida or other birth defects after prenatal use of this antidepressant, you may have the right to file a claim for compensation. Contact an experienced Paxil lawsuit settlements lawyer to discuss your case. We are currently representing families throughout the United States who have a child affected by Paxil birth defects.