Abdominal Defect

Abdominal Wall Defects Associated with Mood-Stabilizing Drugs

An abdominal defect is a birth defect in which the muscles in a fetus’s abdominal wall do not close properly, resulting in the formation of an omphalocele in which the intestines and other abdominal organs form outside the body in a membrane attached to the navel.

Omphalocele occurs in about 1 out of 2,000 births and can usually be detected with ultrasound tests during pregnancy. An abdominal wall defect can be repaired with surgery after birth but is often associated with other more serious birth defects, such as atrial and ventricular septal defects, chromosomal abnormalities, and congenital diaphragmatic hernia. An estimated 25 to 40 percent of babies born with omphaloceles also suffer other birth defects.

In severe cases of abdominal wall defects or when combined with other birth defects, the infant can die from the condition. Complications may include difficulty fitting the organs back into the small space of the infant’s body, death of intestinal tissue, and intestinal infection.

Causes of Abdominal Defects

Mood-stabilizing and anti-depressant drugs are believed to be potential causes of abdominal and other birth defects associated with omphalocele. These drugs include:

  •          Celexa
  •          Cipralex
  •          Effexor
  •          Esertia
  •          Lexapro
  •          Luvox
  •          Paxil
  •          Priligy
  •          Prozac
  •          Symbyax
  •          Upstene
  •          Viibyrd
  •          Wellbutrin
  •          Xanax
  •          Zelmid
  •          Zoloft

Studies show that women who take anti-depressant drugs while pregnant have a higher risk of giving birth to a baby with an abdominal wall defect. Women taking these drugs who plan to conceive are advised to consult with their physicians.

Abdominal Wall Defect Treatment

Abdominal wall defects can be repaired by surgically attaching a covering over the membrane that holds the organs and slowly moving them into the baby’s body through the navel. The covering is removed and the abdomen is sewn up. If other birth defects are present, however, treatment for the omphalocele is delayed while more serious conditions, such as heart defects, are addressed. If the omphalocele is so large that it can’t move back into the baby’s body, it is allowed to remain outside until the baby is older and more invasive surgery can be done to repair the abdominal muscles and skin.

If you or a loved one will give or has given birth to a child with an abdominal defect, contact one of Chaffin Luhana LLP’s abdominal defect lawyers at 1-888-480-1123 immediately for a free and confidential case review today. You may be entitled to compensation, and the lawyers at Chaffin Luhana can help.