Limb defects occur when an upper or lower limb, or a portion of the limb, fails to form properly during fetal development. This type of defect is known as a “limb reduction” because the limb is either reduced from its normal size or is missing altogether. Babies born with limb defects often face a number of issues and difficulties, the extent of which will depend on the location and size of the malformation. Some possible complications include difficulties with normal development like motor skills, limitations with certain movements or activities, needing assistance with daily activities like self-care, and possibly emotional and social issues due to physical appearance. The cause of limb defects is unknown, but health officials have indicated that exposure of the mother to certain medications, namely antidepressants, in pregnancy may increase a child’s risk of being born with limb defects. Studies have shown that some pharmaceutical drugs can interfere with the development of a fetus, resulting in fetal malformations. If you took a medication while pregnant and your child was born with a limb defect, contact a birth defect attorney as soon as possible.
Limb defects can present in any number of ways, affecting a child’s leg, arm, foot, hand, fingers or toes. The most common types of limb defects include:
Specific treatment for limb defects is determined by the child’s doctor, who will consider factors like the child’s age, the type of defect, the extent of damage, and the child’s tolerance for certain procedures, medications and therapies. The main goal of limb defect treatment is to improve the affected limb’s appearance and function, which may involve surgery, orthotics, prosthetics and/or rehabilitation. Unfortunately, even with treatment, some children with limb defects will face significant difficulties and limitations throughout their lifetime.
While limb defects aren’t life-threatening, they can significantly alter the course of a child’s life, sometimes preventing him or her from performing simple tasks or participating in certain activities as the child grows. If you or a loved one has suffered from a limb defect, which you believe to be caused by a pharmaceutical drug, contact a defective drug attorney for legal help. You may have grounds to file a medical malpractice lawsuit against the physician or hospital responsible for your care, in order to seek financial compensation for your injuries, medical bills, and pain and suffering. 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. By hiring an experienced birth defect lawyer to represent your case, you can pursue fair and timely reimbursement and bring public attention to the potentially harmful nature of certain medications.