Clubfoot is characterized by a range of congenital (present at birth) foot abnormalities in which a baby’s foot is twisted out of shape or position.
Clubfoot is a fairly common birth defect, and usually occurs in otherwise healthy babies.
Anti-depressants: The use of certain anti-depressants during pregnancy has been shown to increase by nearly 5 times a woman’s likelihood of giving birth to an infant with clubfoot, according to a study published in the New England Journal of Medicine. The anti-depressants linked to this and other birth defects may include:
Effexor, a similar anti-depressant, is also being researched for possible link to an increased risk of clubfoot.
Surgery can be avoided if alternative treatment is started immediately. The Ponseti method, a method of stretching and casting, has been met with success. In this procedure, the doctor changes the cast every week for several weeks, each time stretching the foot more towards the correct position. Once the foot has been corrected, the infant must wear a brace at night for two years to maintain the position. As long as parents are diligent about applying the brace daily, recurrence of clubfoot is unlikely. The goal is to get a baby’s clubfoot to the stage of being painless, functional and stable by the time he or she is ready to walk.
If stretching, casting and bracing are not enough to correct the issue, surgery may be required to adjust the tendons, ligaments and joints in the foot and ankle. This procedure is usually done between nine months and one year of age. Post-surgery, a cast holds the clubfoot in place while it heals. Surgery is likely to cause a stiffer foot than nonsurgical methods, especially as time passes.
Your Baby’s Rights
If your baby was born with clubfoot that may have been caused by exposure to anti-depressant drugs before birth, your family deserves financial compensation. Although no amount of money will change what happened to your baby, compensation will help offset the current and future medical costs, as well as provide for the pain and suffering you and your baby have experienced. Filing a claim will also teach the manufacturers of unsafe medications that it is unacceptable to not warn parents of the risks associated with these drugs, including serious birth defects. Your suit may even prevent other families from suffering as yours has, by forcing the pharmaceutical company to change their drug’s label to warn parents of the potential risks.
You may be eligible for compensation to ease the financial burdens associated with your baby’s injury. Contact us today to set up a free consultation during which we will listen to your story, answer any questions you may have and discuss your legal rights and options. If you choose us to represent you, we will work with you on a contingency fee basis; this means you pay nothing until we have secured compensation for you, either through a jury verdict or settlement.