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Premature Fusing of the Skull

Houston Craniosynostosis Attorneys

What Is Craniosynostosis?

Sutures are the vital connections that separate individual skull bones as a baby develops. The intersection of these sutures creates the baby’s fontanelles, or “soft spots.” Sutures fuse and turn to bone as a brain stops growing in size, resulting in a healthy adult skull.

The sutures are the intersections between the five skull plates:

  • The two frontal bones
  • The two parietal bones
  • The occipital bone

Craniosynostosis causes sutures to close earlier than they should. When one of the sutures closes too early, it leads to an abnormally-shaped skull. Craniosynostosis can lead to excruciatingly painful intracranial pressure. It can also lead to serious disabilities or fatal injuries.

If your child is suffering from the long-term effects of craniosynostosis, call our Houston birth injury attorneys. If you took certain drugs while pregnant, you may be entitled to compensation.

Causes of Craniosynostosis

Craniosynostosis can be caused by a variety of factors, including genetic, environmental, and biomechanical. If your child is suffering from craniosynostosis, it may be because of a drug that you took while pregnant. Certain medications are linked to this birth defect.

Among the medications that are listed as risks for craniosynostosis are:

  • Lexapro
  • Prozac
  • Paxil
  • Zoloft
  • Celexa

One study published in the New England Journal of Medicine shows that using SSRIs during pregnancy was linked with craniosynostosis. Another study shows Clomid increased the risk of craniosynostosis by 80%. The University of British Columbia, Vancouver conducted a study that showed there is a distinctive link between this disease and first-trimester exposure to selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI) drugs. The risk of craniosynostosis in these events was twice the amount as it was in mothers who did not take SSRI drugs.

Effects of Craniosynostosis

If your child has craniosynostosis, then he or she will probably have an improperly functioning brain. The brain becomes constricted when the sutures close too early, restricting growth that eventually affects development and causes painful cranial pressure.

The birth defect can also result in the following:

  • Seizures
  • Blindness
  • Learning disabilities
  • Cognitive issues
  • Generally lower I.Q.

To compensate for a closed seam, the brain will often grow parallel to the fused suture. Many of the above issues depend on which suture closes in your baby’s skull, thus dictating which part of the brain’s growth will be restricted.

When Treatment Is Necessary

When only one suture is affected by this illness, then there may not be any treatments necessary. In these cases, abnormalities may eventually diminish with time. When the child develops more hair, the shape of his or her skull may seem to disappear. However, in severe cases, infants will need to undergo almost immediate surgery to relieve cranial pressure and make sure that there is room for the brain to grow and develop.

Many children will need to go to their doctor frequently for head growth checkups and will want to check for increased intracranial pressure on a regular basis. While craniosynostosis can be from dangerous drugs, it can also be congenital. Often people who have a metabolic disease can also give birth to children with this condition. Those with rickets or an overactive thyroid are at a higher risk as well.

Craniosynostosis FAQ

How common is craniosynostosis?

Craniosynostosis occurs in about 1 of every 2,200 live births. Depending on the type of craniosynostosis and its severity, this condition may be treated with a combination of surgery and helmet therapy, which allows the skull to grow in a normal shape and accommodate the baby’s developing brain.

What are some symptoms of craniosynostosis?

In some cases, craniosynostosis is recognized and diagnosed at birth. In others, it is observed within the first year of a child’s life. The most recognizable symptoms affect the shape of the head and face. One side of the face may look very different than the other, or the head may appear misshapen.

In addition to face and head shape, other signs of craniosynostosis include:

  • Bulging fontanelle, the soft spot on the top of an infant’s head
  • Prominent veins in the scalp
  • Increased head circumference
  • Developmental delays
  • Increased sleepiness and lack of awareness
  • Irritability and high-pitched crying
  • Feeding difficulties and projectile vomiting

If you suspect that your child may have craniosynostosis, be sure to talk to your pediatrician. An early diagnosis and treatment plan are essential to protect your child’s developing brain and to give him or her the best opportunity of facing a bright future.

Should I talk to an attorney if my child has been diagnosed with craniosynostosis?

After a craniosynostosis diagnosis, it’s important to determine what may have caused your child’s condition. While some cases are traced to genetic disorders, several studies have linked SSRI use during pregnancy to craniosynostosis and other serious disorders. If you took SSRIs during pregnancy or had a difficult labor and delivery, an attorney can talk to you about what role these may have played in your child’s condition. You may have grounds for a lawsuit that would allow you to pursue compensation for your child’s care—giving you the invaluable opportunity to provide for their every need.

There’s no risk and so much to gain by talking to a craniosynostosis lawyer at our firm. We’re here to answer your questions and offer the guidance you need—at no cost to you.

Talk to a Houston Craniosynostosis Attorney Today: (888) 493-1629

When negligence results in your or your child’s suffering, you have the right to hold those at fault accountable. However, you’ll need a lawyer who is experienced with holding well-prepared pharmaceutical opponents accountable for damages.

Arnold & Itkin LLP has achieved incredible results in the last few years alone:

  • Billions of dollars in verdicts and settlements
  • Sizable verdicts and settlements for victims of birth defects caused by SSRIs
  • Hundreds of verdicts and settlements larger than $1 million
  • Dozens of verdicts and settlements larger than $10 million
  • Thousands of lives changed through our results-oriented trial approach

Arnold & Itkin has set records throughout the state and across the nation because we are committed to fighting for our clients and providing for their needs. Our investigation will uncover the cause of your child’s condition, who could be held responsible, and how our firm can help you seek resources for medical treatment, long-term care, and accommodations your child needs to survive. With so much on the line, you deserve the best attorney.

Let us hear your story and help you pursue justice for your child. Discuss the specifics of your case in a free, confidential consultation by calling (888) 493-1629.

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