Birth Defects Linked to Zofran Use

Was your child born with a cleft lip, cleft palate, or congenital heart defect (CHD)? These are birth defects that are present collectively in more than 47,000 newborns in the US every year, with CHD being the most common. In most cases, the causes of these birth defects are unknown, and parents are encouraged to look upon it as nothing more than the roll of the dice. However, there are studies into these types of birth defects that link them to the use of certain drugs. One of these is Zofran (ondansetron) manufactured by GlaxoSmithKline.

Zofran is a powerful antiemetic (prevents nausea) that blocks 5-HT3 receptors in the central nervous system and the gastrointestinal tract. It is customarily prescribed as per Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approval for the prevention of severe nausea in patients undergoing chemotherapy or radiation therapy (using cytotoxic drugs) and post-surgery. In some cases where morning sickness is so severe that the mother is put in danger of severe dehydration and electrolyte imbalance from constant vomiting (hyperemesis gravidarium), she may be prescribed with Zofran or its generic counterparts.

The problem with this is Zofran is not approved for use in pregnant women. In fact, all antiemetics are not recommended for use during pregnancy because there are not enough studies to validate any risk-benefit analysis. However, when severe morning sickness threatens the health of the mother and child, physicians have no choice but to prescribe one. There are no warnings published by the manufacturer that Zofran poses a greater risk of birth defects to the developing fetus than any other antiemetic, so physicians have no reason to believe that it will harm the child. Ongoing studies indicate that Zofran may in fact be particularly prone to increase the risk of birth defects.

If you have been prescribed with Zofran and your child is born with a birth defect, you may want to consider filing a Zofran lawsuit. The manufacturer knew or should have known that it would pose unreasonable dangers to your child, and should have provided adequate warning to doctors and the public against its use. Contact a dangerous drugs lawyer in your state to explore your legal options in such cases.

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Medical Errors that Lead to Neonatal Brain Injuries

Few people understand how easy it is to make medical errors that can lead to serious brain injuries. It can be a case of too much, too little, too soon, or too late for many cases and may be due to negligence, miscommunication or fatigue. Costs often go beyond hospitalization and critical care; in most cases, lifetime special care is required.

Health care professionals are human beings with the same physical and mental limitations of ordinary people, but this realization does not absolve them from the duty of care towards their patients that is expected of them. According to the website of Jeff Sampson, breaching this duty can render them liable for personal injury lawsuits. Specifically, medical malpractice lawsuits. These suits involve accusations that are often difficult to prove, but also offer generally high settlements, since they’re the result of egregious failures of a medical institution’s duty of care.

One of the most common reasons for brain injury in both adults and children which is not traumatic i.e. physical blow in nature is hypoxia and anoxia. Hypoxia is depletion of oxygen in tissue; anoxia is the complete absence of oxygen. If the brain receives too little oxygen, this is called cerebral hypoxia. If no oxygen is getting to the brain at all, it is cerebral anoxia. When a medical procedure or treatment inadvertently causes the oxygen flow to the brain to decrease or cease over a certain period of time, brain cells die, causing brain damage. Even if the oxygen flow is brought back to normal, the brain injury and consequent effects are usually permanent.

The most vulnerable to this type of injury are newborns. Medical errors that lead to brain injuries in neonates include delayed removal of airway obstructions and failure to provide necessary medical attention to pre-term babies with underdeveloped lungs. Adults suffering from a stroke may have more extensive brain injuries than they should have if they had been diagnosed and treated promptly.

It is possible to injure the brain in other ways, such as the use of too much labor-inducing Pitocin, or too much anesthesia during surgery. While there is no intent to harm, the health care professional is still liable for any damages that may accrue to the victim in a personal injury lawsuit. If someone close to you has suffered brain injuries due to medical errors, consult with a personal injury lawyer in your area for advice and assistance.

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