When offering medical advice and care to an expectant mother, it is vital that a doctor understand what medications can negatively affect the mother and her unborn child. If a doctor provides a mother with medication that harms her or her child, the doctor could be held liable for medical malpractice for their negligent actions. If your newborn is experiencing a birth defect due to a medication error, you should consult with an experienced Maryland medication birth defect attorney as soon as possible.
A newborn should not have to live with a serious birth defect because a medical practitioner prescribed a mother dangerous medication. At the Law Offices of Randolph Rice, we are here to help you fight for compensation and justice for your child if they were the victim of medical malpractice. To schedule a free legal consultation to discuss your potential lawsuit, contact the Law Offices of Randolph Rice at (410) 694-7291. You can also schedule your consultation online.
Medications that Can Cause Birth Defects in Maryland
Birth defects can occur under a wide range of circumstances. For example, if a mother engaged in the use of alcohol while pregnant, this would increase the risk that a child is born with a birth defect. Note, however, that birth defects can also be caused by medications that are negligently prescribed by a doctor that oversees a mother’s pregnancy. The following are some medications that can be responsible for a severe birth defect.
Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors
Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors, also referred to as SSRI medications, are used to treat depression, anxiety, and similar health issues. However, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has also issued warnings that SSRI medications can also cause an unborn child to experience persistent pulmonary hypertension (PPHN). Additionally, SSRI medications can also cause the following birth defects:
- Cleft lip
- Craniosynostosis (bones in the infant’s skull fuse too soon)
- Heart defects
- Limb abnormalities
- Neural tube defects (brain, spine, or spinal cord defects)
- Omphalocele (organs protrude from child’s belly button)
- Spina bifida
If your doctor prescribed you any of the following SSRI medications during pregnancy, they could be responsible if your child was born with a birth defect:
Benzodiazepines are typically prescribed to treat patients for anxiety disorders, insomnia, seizures, panic attacks, and muscle disorders. When benzodiazepines are taken while pregnant, it increases the risk of a child experiencing issues with breathing and muscle control.
Medications for Seizures
There are many women who have difficulty with pregnancy due to experiencing frequent seizures. Unfortunately, many medications used to treat seizures have been linked to birth defects, which is especially troublesome as women who experience seizures often experience miscarriages.
Seizure medication can cause the following birth defects:
- Organ deformities
- Developmental delays
- Hypoplasia (inadequate tissue formation)
- Craniofacial defects
There are other medications not listed above that can be responsible for birth defects. For example, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, Accutane, and Diflucan are some medications that have also been linked to birth defects.
To learn more about proving a medical malpractice lawsuit against a doctor that caused your child’s birth defect, continue reading and speak with an experienced Maryland medication birth defect lawyer as soon as possible.
Proving Liability for a Medication Birth Defect in Maryland
There are multiple parties that could be held liable when a child is born with a defect. As you might expect, the doctor in charge of the pregnancy would be a party that could be held responsible for negligence. However, the employer of the delivering doctor could also be held liable for their actions.
The doctrine of respondeat superior allows a plaintiff to hold an employer vicariously liable for the actions of an employee as long as the employee’s negligent act occurred within the scope of their employment. For example, if a doctor prescribed medication to a mother that he should have known would drastically increase the risk of a birth defect, this negligent act could be imputed to their employer.
Doctors are required to understand how a specific medication will interact with a patient and any other medications the patient may be using. Failing to diagnose a potential prescription error would make the doctor liable for malpractice.
To prove liability for a birth defect, a plaintiff will have to show how a doctor or their employer acted negligently. Specifically, the plaintiff must prove the following elements:
- The doctor owed the patient a duty of care
- The doctor breached the duty of care by prescribing a dangerous prescription
- The patient was injured due to the doctor’s actions
- The patient’s injuries and losses are compensable by a court of law
If you need assistance to prove your birth injury case, our firm is ready to work with you.
Contact Our Experienced Maryland Medication Birth Defect Lawyer to Discuss Your Potential Case
If your child has developed a birth defect due to medical negligence, you should speak with an experienced Maryland medication birth defect lawyer immediately. The Law Offices of Randolph Rice is here to help you get started on your birth injury lawsuit. We recognize how a birth defect can affect a family, and we would like to offer you legal representation tailored to your unique needs. To schedule a free consultation to discuss the details of your malpractice claim, contact the Law Offices of Randolph Rice at (410) 694-7291. Our firm can also be contacted online.