Clubfoot Birth Defects

Unborn babies developing in the womb are exceptionally vulnerable to harm caused by outside factors, particularly prescription or over-the-counter medications taken by expectant mothers during the early stages of pregnancy. Research has shown that babies born to women who take powerful pharmaceutical drugs, like Depakote or Zofran, while pregnant, may have a significantly increased risk of developing club foot birth defects and other debilitating congenital malformations. If your child was born with clubfoot, and you believe Zofran, Depakote, or another potentially dangerous medication to be the cause, contact a knowledgeable drug injury lawyer today for legal help. You and your child may be entitled to financial compensation for your losses, which you can pursue by filing a product liability lawsuit against the drug manufacturing company.

Clubfoot Lawsuit // Ford & Associates

What is Club Foot?

The term club foot, or clubfoot, describes a range of physical abnormalities present at birth (congenital) that affect the formation of a baby’s foot or feet, in which the foot is twisted out of shape or position. Club foot occurs when the tendons connecting the muscles to the bone are shorter than usual, causing the foot to be positioned at a sharp angle to the ankle, much like the head of a golf club. Babies born with clubfoot typically exhibit the following symptoms:

  • The top of their foot is twisted downward and inward
  • Their foot is turned so severely that it appears to be upside down
  • The calf muscles in the affected leg are underdeveloped
  • The affected foot is up to a ½-inch shorter than the other foot

What Causes Club Foot Birth Defects?

In many cases of club foot birth defects, the cause of the malformation is unknown. However, a number of studies have shown that expectant mothers who take certain medications while pregnant may have an increased risk of giving birth to babies with club foot and other congenital defects. Some popular pharmaceutical drugs that have been linked to club foot birth defects in babies include the following:

  • Zofran (ondansetron) – An anti-nausea drug sometimes prescribed off-label to pregnant women suffering from severe morning sickness
  • Depakote (valproate) – An anticonvulsant drug commonly prescribed to treat epileptic seizures, manic episodes of bipolar disorder, and severe migraine headaches
  • Zoloft (sertraline) – An SSRI antidepressant drug prescribed to treat depression, obsessive-compulsive disorder, anxiety disorders and other mental health problems
  • Paxil (paroxetine) – An SSRI antidepressant drug used to treat major depressive disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder and post-traumatic stress disorder

Children born with club foot birth defects typically have difficulty walking normally, which is why doctors recommend treating the malformation soon after birth. Furthermore, club foot defects present at birth can be a red flag for additional medical problems, as the malformation can be linked to other more severe birth defects, like spina bifida, which occurs when the tissue surrounding the baby’s spinal cord fails to close properly during fetal development.

Long-Term Effects of Club Foot Birth Defects

Club foot birth defects can range from mild to severe, and while the club foot itself typically doesn’t cause any serious complications in newborn babies, it’s when the child learns to stand and walk that the problems may begin. At this point, children afflicted with clubfoot birth defects may experience difficulties walking normally, and may walk on the sides of their feet or even on the tops of their feet, due to the malformation. As a result of these walking adjustments, club foot may lead to problems with callouses or sores developing on the feet, may prevent the natural growth of the calf muscles, may cause arthritis in the joints, and may ultimately lead to an awkward gait.

A Skilled Birth Defect Lawyer Can Help

Club foot is a relatively common birth defect affecting approximately one in 1,000 babies born in the United States each year. However, statistics show that the risk of clubfoot and other debilitating birth defects may be considerably higher in babies exposed to certain pharmaceutical drugs in utero. If you took Zofran, Depakote, Paxil, Zoloft, or another potent prescription medication while pregnant, and your child was born with a congenital malformation like club foot, consult an experienced birth defect attorney today to explore your possible compensation options. With a reputable and compassionate product liability lawyer on your side, you can protect your legal rights and pursue the financial compensation your child deserves for his injuries, medical bills, and pain and suffering.

Clubfoot may be linked to infant exposure to Zofran, Depakote, or SSRI antidepressants (like Paxil or Zoloft) during pregnancy. // Ford & Associates

Additional Zofran Resources

Wikipedia – Ondansetron

Zofran Lawsuit Help Center

Birth defects blamed on unapproved morning sickness treatment

Zofran Lawsuit Help Center on Facebook

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