Spina Bifida Lawyers in Philadelphia
More Than $2 Billion in Verdicts & Settlements Since 1958
The Beasley Firm thrives on providing families with the funds to care for children injured due to another's fault. Our Philadelphia birth injury attorneys work with a team of skilled physicians and nurses who have years of experience in labor and delivery and can lend professional insight into the circumstances of your case. We diligently investigate all aspects of a birth injury before building a case that rests soundly on hours of hard work, concrete evidence, professional reports, and courtroom expertise. We prepare every case as if it were headed for trial. Due to our thorough approach, we have established a track record of success as one of the leading law firms in Pennsylvania. Since 1958, we have obtained over $2 billion in verdicts and settlements, including tens of millions in birth injury cases.
Join a legacy of success in your pursuit of just compensation. Call (215) 866-2424 to set up a complimentary consultation.
Types of Spina Bifida
Spina Bifida means "cleft spine" and occurs when there is an incomplete development of a baby's brain, spinal cord, and meninges, the protective cover over the spinal cord. Spina Bifida is a neural tube defect that develops in approximately 2,000 pregnancies each year. It is estimated that 166,000 people in the United States have spina bifida.
Take a look at the four types of spina bifida:
- Occulta: This mild form of spina bifida is also the most common. Occulta, which means "hidden," occurs when the defect, or opening, in the spine is covered by a layer of skin.
- Closed neural tube defects: This occurs when a malformed spinal cord that consists of fat, bones, and membranes is present and could lead to partial paralysis, urinary problems, or bowel dysfunction.
- Meningocele spina bifida: This causes spinal fluid and the meninges to protrude out of an opening in the spinal column. The protrusion does not contain nerves or neural elements and may or may not be covered by skin.
- Myelomeningocele: This is the most severe form of spina bifida, where the spinal cord and nerves are exposed through an opening in the spine. This spinal cord defect can cause paralysis and sensory deficits below the area of the opening. The paralysis could be so severe that the individual may not be able to walk.
Though all of the causes of spina bifida remain unknown, research has shown that a folic acid or B vitamin deficiency, environmental factors, and some prescription medications may be linked to the development of this neural tube defect (NTD).
Causes & Symptoms of Spina Bifida
A vitamin deficiency in folic acid or folate in the months before becoming pregnant or during early pregnancy when the brain and spinal cord are forming can put a woman at higher risk of having a baby with spina bifida. It is estimated that taking folic acid supplements or multivitamins in the months before conception and during the early months of pregnancy can help prevent 70% of neural tube defects. It is recommended that all women of childbearing years or who may become pregnant, take 400 micrograms of folic acid each day. In addition, they should consume foods that are high in folate such as fortified cereals, broccoli, brown rice, eggs, dark green vegetables, enriched pastas, grain products, and some fruits.
Spina Bifida could lead to the following:
- Abnormal sensations
- Bowel and bladder problems
- Inability to walk
- Chiari II malformation
- Feeding difficulties
- Progressive or tethered cord
- Swallowing problems
- Limb stiffness
- Learning disabilities
All pregnancies should be carefully monitored. If vitamin deficiencies are present, physicians should compensate for their presence and do everything possible to lessen the risk for spina bifida.
Medications Related to Spina Bifida
In addition to having a proper diet that is high in folic acid, a woman who is thinking of becoming pregnant or who is at risk of becoming pregnant should avoid certain medications, if possible, that could cause birth defects or spina bifida.
Some medications that have been linked to birth defects or neural tube defects are:
- Accutane or isotretinoin
- Celexa or citlopram
- Depakote, Depakene or valproic acid
- Diflucan or fluconazole
- Dilantin or phenytoin
- Lexapro or escitalopram
- Paxil or paroxetine
- Prozac or fluoxetine
- Symbyax, olanzapine or fluoxetine
- Topamax or Topirmate
- Zoloft or sertraline
Asking your physician about the effects of medications like these on your pregnancy can help you make decisions on whether you should continue taking the medication. Physicians are obligated to warn you of the risk factors in taking medications, especially when the risks could harm your pregnancy as well.
Trust Our Seasoned Philadelphia Birth Injury Attorneys to Fight for Just Compensation!
If your doctor, gynecologist, or psychiatrist did not warn you that a low folic acid intake, vitamin deficiency, or a medication you were taking could possibly cause a birth defect or spina bifida, they may have been negligent and may be held responsible for damages. Since 1958, our Philadelphia birth injury lawyers have been awarded over $2 billion on behalf of our clients. Our attorneys, recognized in the Super Lawyers® list and highly-rated on Avvo, have a track record of success and dedicate themselves to pursuing compensation on behalf of birth injury victims.
Complete a free case evaluation online if you are ready to talk about your case. You can also call The Beasley Firm at (215) 866-2424!