Spina Bifida Birth Defects
Call Houston Birth Injury Attorneys to Fight for Justice
Spina Bifida is a devastating birth defect that can cause a child to suffer permanent disability.
In many cases, a baby develops spina bifida in the womb due to the side effect of a drug. As a result, the child's spinal column never fully forms, leading to severe injury. Spina bifida is typically characterized by the dimpling of the sacrum and by a tuft of hair which grows at the end of the sacral area. Sometimes, victims of the illness will have a sac-like structure that protrudes from the skin on the middle to lower back.
There are three main types of spina bifida which can be discovered in babies when they are born:
- Spina bifida occulta
The spinal cord may even be exposed, which can lead to terrible spinal infections that may be fatal. Many times children with spina bifida also suffer from meningitis or hydrocephalus. Hydrocephalus is where the fluid of the brain does not circulate properly between the brain and the spinal cord, resulting in painful pressure and brain damage.
Types of Spina Bifida
Myelomeningocele – This occurs when the spinal cord and the meninges protrude out of the baby's back, rather than remaining inside the body as expected. Meninges are the membranes that cover the spinal cord in order to protect it. Babies born with this form of the illness are at high risk for a fatal injury. As a result, babies typically need surgery within a few months of birth to correct the problem. The rarest and most severe type of SB.
Meningoceles – This is a form of spina bifida which happens when the meninges protrude out of the baby's back, but the spinal cord remains in the same place. This can also be a significant danger to your child's life.
Spina bifida occulta – This is a form of the illness when the spinal cord and the meninges remain in place and are covered by the skin. This is the most common of the spina bifida types, with up to one in five people having spina bifida occulta to some extent. Many people are unaware they even have the condition. This can still be a severe issue in many cases, so your family may still be entitled to compensation if your baby has this form of SB.
Symptoms of Spina Bifida
Babies who are born with this devastating illness often have a few common symptoms. Because the child is young, the devastating effects of spina bifida may not seem obvious at first. Doctors will want to look for any weakness in the feet, legs, or hips as well as any partial or complete paralysis in the lower body.
Oftentimes, those with spina bifida lack bladder control and bowel control. Those who suffer from spina bifida may need surgery at an early age to lessen neurological damage, and may need a shunt placed in the spine.
The symptoms of an undiagnosed spina bifida issue include:
- Hairy patch over the protrusion
- Fatty, cyst-like spot over the defect
- Hemangioma (bruise-like spot made of blood vessels)
- Red birthmark noticeably darker than surrounding skin
- Patch of skin that lacks pigmentation
What Causes Spina Bifida?
The exact causes of spina bifida are unknown, but there are certain environmental and genetic factors linked to it. Experts suggest that the injuries may come from a virus or from a folic acid deficiency in the fetus. There are certain medications which can also cause this injury and put newborns at risk.
Specific dangerous drugs have been cited as possible causes of spina bifida in the fetus:
Many mothers are urged to take nutrients or eat foods with plenty of folic acid to prevent spina bifida. However, researchers have found a link between this birth defect and mothers who do not metabolize folic acid effectively. As a result, the issue may be more than simply a nutrient deficiency. In many cases, however, prescription medications may have been involved in the development of a spinal cleft.
Hire a Houston Birth Injury Attorney Today
If your child is injured or killed as a result of spina bifida and you believe that you can trace the injury back to a dangerous drug, then you need to seek compensation. With the right lawyer on your side, you may be able to obtain compensation for the drug injury that caused you so much heartbreak and caused your child so much pain.
Arnold & Itkin has committed to fighting for the injured and grieving. People deserve justice for the costs and emotional pain that come with injury and tragedy. We have fought relentlessly for the resources our clients need to move forward. As a result, we have obtained billions of dollars in verdicts and settlements.
Discuss your case with our Houston birth injury lawyer in a free case consultation today. Call (888) 493-1629.