Throughout the past decade, birth defect studies have concentrated on the potential connection between maternal use of certain medications in pregnancy and the development of life-threatening birth defects in children. In fact, research suggesting that exposure to valproic acid (Depakote) during pregnancy may cause birth defects in babies is so significant that there is actually a birth defect named fetal valproate syndrome. Extensive research has pointed to the teratogenicity of Depakote, defined as the ability of the drug to interfere with fetal development, as a possible cause of the presence of major malformations at birth. Fetal valproate syndrome in particular is a term applied to the development of a distinctive set of birth defects, believed to be caused by a baby’s exposure to the anticonvulsant Depakote in utero. If you took Depakote (valproic acid) during pregnancy and your child has been diagnosed with fetal valproate syndrome, contact a birth defect attorney today, as your child may be entitled to lifetime care.
Some of the most serious birth defects associated with fetal valproate syndrome include the neural tube birth defect, spina bifida; trigonocephaly, a skull defect resulting in a triangular head shape; and a number of facial deformities, some of which may evolve with age. More specifically, fetal valproate syndrome may result in facial birth defects like:
Due to the varied nature of the birth defects associated with fetal valproate syndrome, a single treatment is not possible. Instead, each individual birth defect must be addressed separately, which can result in extensive and costly medical bills. In many instances, multiple surgeries are required in order to correct heart defects, spinal malformations and defects of the skull. Some children with fetal valproate syndrome will require physical therapy for a number of years in order to overcome the problems resulting from the birth defect. Other children may benefit from private tutors and counselors if their mental development has been affected. Common complications of fetal valproate syndrome include blindness, heart failure, diminished motor skills, neurological problems, slow development, high blood pressure and breathing problems.
Although researchers have suggested that a number of birth defects may be associated with the use of certain medications in pregnancy, fetal valproate syndrome is believe to be associated with one cause: a mother’s use of Depakote while pregnant. If you or a loved one has suffered from fetal valproate syndrome, which you believe to be caused by Depakote use in pregnancy, contact a birth defect attorney immediately. You may be entitled to financial compensation for your injuries, medical bills, and pain and suffering, which you can pursue by filing a medical malpractice lawsuit against the doctor or hospital responsible for your care. You are not at fault for any injuries caused by a potentially dangerous drug, and you should not be held accountable for the resulting consequences. With the help of a qualified birth defect lawyer, you can protect your legal rights and pursue the financial compensation you deserve.