Written by Andrew Sarski on January 7, 2011
Causes of Growth Retardation
One of the main causes of growth retardation is believed to be the use of pharmaceuticals, particularly anticonvulsant medications, during pregnancy. These drugs can have serious adverse and potentially fatal consequences for a child who is exposed to them in utero. Pharmaceutical medications can interrupt the normal processes of fetal development, resulting in birth defects like growth retardation, and even death. Other causes of growth retardation include diabetes, drug use, smoking, anemia and deficient supply of nutrients. Oftentimes, growth retardation is difficult to diagnose and a number of steps must be taken before a firm diagnosis can be made. Typically, the first step is to study the mother’s medical history in order to discover any risk factors of IUGR. If the mother does present one or more risk factors, the doctor may perform further analysis.
Pregnancy is generally divided into three stages: stage one is characterized by rapid cell multiplication, stage two involves the growth in size of the cells, and stage three features continued growth of the size of cells, as well as the completed development of the body’s internal structures. Intrauterine growth retardation can occur at any stage of pregnancy; the timing will determine what is actually affected by the slowed growth – for example, the number of cells or the size of the cells.
Growth Retardation Detection and Symptoms
There are a number of ways to detect the presence of growth retardation while the fetus is still in the womb. Throughout pregnancy, the mother’s weight gain and the development of the fetus is recorded, as well as the extension of the uterus as the fetus grows. As a simple test, the height of the uterus in centimeters should equal the number of the fetus’ gestational weeks. If the approximate measurements do not match up, additional tests may be necessary to check for growth retardation, including an ultrasound. Along with these measurements, the growth of the fetus can also be determined by the levels of amniotic fluid, the grading of the placenta, and studies performed on the umbilical cord artery and the middle cerebral artery. Any abnormalities in these measurements may indicate the possibility of growth retardation. With today’s ultrasound technology, health professionals can more easily keep track of the development of the fetus, making sure the rate of fetal growth over time remains normal and healthy.
Growth Retardation Injury Lawuits and Birth Defect Attorneys
Growth retardation can have harmful consequences for an affected child, including decreased cognitive development, neurological impairment, and an increased risk of diabetes, high blood pressure and cardiovascular disease. Defective drugs can have serious, potentially catastrophic consequences for an affected child. If you or a loved one has suffered from a birth injury like growth retardation and pharmaceuticals are believed to be the cause, you should contact an attorney as soon as possible. Many instances of pharmaceutical-related birth injuries have led to individual and class action lawsuits and an experienced lawyer can help you collect the compensation you deserve.