Congenital birth defects are many of the most severe side effects associated with the use of  SSRI Antidepressants such as Zoloft (sertraline), Paxil (paroxetine), Prozac (fluoxetine), Lexapro (escitalopram) and Celexa (citalopram).  They  include: Congenital Heart Defects, Congenital Lung Defects, Congenital Abdominal Wall Defects, Congenital Cranio-facial Defects,and other birth defects and malformations affecting various other areas of the child’s anatomy.

SSRI Antidepressant Abdominal Wall Birth Defects

According to studies, there is an over 800% increased risk of giving birth to a child with an Abdominal Wall Birth Defect when a woman has been prescribed and taken SSRI Antidepressants such as Zoloft (sertraline), Paxil (paroxetine), Prozac (fluoxetine), Lexapro (escitalopram) and Celexa (citalopram) during her pregnancy.  Gastroschisis is an abdominal wall birth defect. SSRI Antidepressant use during pregnancy has also been linked to congenital heart defects, lung defects, cranio-facial malformations, as well as limb deformities and the birth defect known as Clubfoot.

What is Gastroschisis?

Gastroschisis is a birth defect in which an infant’s intestines stick out of the body through a defect on one side of the umbilical cord.

Causes

Gastroschisis is a type of abdominal wall malformation or hernia. Hernia means “rupture.” Babies with this condition have a hole in the abdominal wall, usually on the right side of the umbilical cord. The child’s intestines usually stick out (protrude) through the hole.

The condition looks similar to an omphalocele. An omphalocele, however, is a birth defect in which the infant’s intestine or other abdominal organs stick out of the belly button area and are covered with a membrane.

Other related birth defects are rare in patients with gastroschisis.

Symptoms

•Lump in the abdomen
•Intestine sticks through the abdominal wall near the umbilical cord

Exams and Tests

Physical examination of the infant is enough for the health care provider to diagnose gastroschisis. The baby will have problems with movement and absorption in the gut, because the unprotected intestine is exposed to irritating amniotic fluid.

The mother may have shown signs of too much amniotic fluid (polyhydramnios). A prenatal ultrasound often identifies the gastroschisis.

Treatment

If gastroschisis is found before birth, the mother will need special monitoring to make sure her unborn baby remains healthy. Plans should be made for careful delivery and immediate management of the problem after birth.

Treatment for gastroschisis is surgery to repair the defect. In Gastrochesis Repair, a surgeon will put the bowel back into the abdomen and close the defect, if possible. If the abdominal cavity is too small, a mesh sack is stitched around the borders of the defect and the edges of the defect are pulled up. Over time, the herniated intestine falls back into the abdominal cavity, and the defect can be closed.

Other treatments for the baby include nutrients by IV and antibiotics to prevent infection. The baby’s temperature must be carefully controlled, because the exposed intestine allows a lot of body heat to escape.

Outlook (Prognosis)

The child has a good chance of recovering if the abdominal cavity is large enough. A very small abdominal cavity may result in complications that require additional surgery.

Possible Complications

The misplaced abdominal contents can make it difficult for the baby to expand the lungs, leading to breathing problems.

Bowel death is another complication.

When to Contact a Medical Professional

This condition is apparent at birth and will be detected in the hospital at delivery. It may also be detected on routine fetal ultrasound exams. If you have given birth at home and your baby appears to have this defect, call the local emergency number (such as 911) immediately.

Alternative Names

Gastrochesis, Abdominal Wall Malformation, Omphalocele

SSRI Class Action Lawsuit vs. Individual SSRI Lawsuit

There are distinct differences between an SSRI Antidepressant (Zoloft – sertraline, Paxil – paroxetine, Prozac – fluoxetine, Lexapro – escitalopram and Celexa – citalopram) class action lawsuit and a more typical individual SSRI lawsuit. A SSRI class action lawsuit would be a form of SSRI lawsuit in which a large group of people (plaintiffs) collectively bring a lawsuit to court in the form of a “class action” against the manufacturers of the SSRI antidepressant (defendant). In a class action lawsuit involving personal injury, resulting from defective products such as antidepressant SSRI drugs like Zoloft (sertraline), Paxil (paroxetine), Prozac (fluoxetine), Lexapro (escitalopram) and Celexa (citalopram), all SSRI lawsuit plaintiffs would typically be grouped together into a single SSRI class action lawsuit, regardless of the degree or severity of their birth defect injuries. In this type of SSRI class action lawsuit, plaintiffs with injuries ranging from minor injuries not requiring surgery, all the way to the most severe congenital heart, lung and abdominal wall defects, requiring multiple surgeries or a complete transplant, would be grouped into one single SSRI class action lawsuit. All plaintiffs in the class would equally share any award or settlement resulting from the SSRI class action lawsuit.

In SSRI antidepressant lawsuits involving catastrophic injury or death, an individual lawsuit, in most cases, is more appropriate and in the plaintiff’s best interest. SSRI antidepressants like Zoloft, Prozac, Celexa, Lexapro and Paxil, have been linked to some of the severe congenital birth defects listed above, including: gastroschisis, atrial septal defects (ASD – hole in the heart), ventricular septal defects (VSD – hole in the heart), tetrology of fallot (ToF), hypoplastic left heart syndrome (HLHS), transposition of the great arteries (TGA or TOGA), patent ductus arteriosus (PDA), total anomalous pulmonary venous return (TAPVR), double outlet right ventricle (DORV), and coarctation of the aorta (CoA). SSRI antidepressant cases such as these are better suited to an individual SSRI antidepressant lawsuit because of the severity and degree of injury to the plaintiff. In an individual SSRI lawsuit, each plaintiff’s case is filed, presented and considered individually, based on its own strength and degree of injury.

In many cases involving SSRI antidepressants like Zoloft, Prozac, Celexa, Lexapro, Paxil and the serious congenital birth defects related to these SSRI antidepressants, surgery is required. Surgery will typically be required when a child is an infant or toddler and then again, potentially multiple times, as the child grows to maturity. In many cases, with surgery and medical care, children may be able to lead mostly normal and productive lives. An individual SSRI lawsuit allows each SSRI victim, their injuries and their future needs to be considered on an individual basis when determining damages, awards and settlement amounts, and not as part of a class action lawsuit.

Speak to an SSRI Lawyer about an SSRI Birth Defect Lawsuit

If you took  Zoloft (sertraline), Prozac (fluoxetine), Paxil (paroxetine),Celexa (citalopram), Lexapro (escitalopram) or any another SSRI antidepressant drug during pregnancy and your child was born with gastroschisis, omphalocele or any other congenital heart, lung or abdominal wall birth defect, we encourage you to contact an SSRI Antidepressant Lawsuit Attorney at our law firm immediately. It may be too late to recover from the devastating effects of Prozac, Paxil, Zoloft, Lexapro and Celexa but an experienced pharmaceutical products liability lawyer at the Willis Law Firm can assist you in legal action against the makers of these dangerous antidepressant drugs. You are not alone. Join other birth defect victims and their families in speaking up and fighting for your legal rights.

Please fill out our free online legal evaluation form and we will contact you within 24 hours, or call our offices at 1-800-883-9858 for immediate help. Please keep in mind that certain states have statutes of limitation that limit the amount of time you have to file a lawsuit or seek legal action. Contact our law firm immediately so that we may explain the rights and options available to you and your family.

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