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Medical Expert Witness on Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors and Birth Defects


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Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors or SSRIs are often used in various medications, and even pregnant women are prescribed these with a 2.3 percent frequency. Most of all babies to those few women that take SSRIs are born without any complications, but there is enough evidence to suggest that there are birth defects and other problems due to these medications.

Claims that deal with injuries, healthcare and physical conditions and problems as well as defects are all connected to a medical expert witness when he or she is needed to explain details or evidence. These professionals may also need to educate the courtroom about numerous health, mental and emotional problems that the average person may not be aware of regarding medications and treatment. The SSRIs have been linked and connected to birth defects when the mothers have taken medicine with these inhibitors. This leads the expert to detailing the reason and need for compensation when a baby is born with a problem that may last his or her whole life.

SSRIs are common in medications, and they are only recently in 2000s known to affect pregnant women negatively. However, the birth defects that may arise from these medicines are cardiac abnormalities, neonatal complications and low birth weight. Premature labor, toxicity of the blood and other fluids and similar issues may occur. Long-term issues with cognitive systems, pulmonary hypertension and other abnormalities are possible. Some infants suffer from multiple symptoms and require constant healthcare to maintain a near normal life. This requires constant healthcare insurance and medication. Treatment may alleviate symptoms, but some defects will remain.

The Birth Defects

Pregnant women are subjected to the medication of SSRIs when depressed and various other issues. These medications are common, and the link to neonatal complications is still relatively new. Additionally, it is the third-trimester where this treatment becomes harmful to the baby. This could lead to addiction and withdrawal, toxicity, birth weight issues, high blood pressure and other complications. The evidence connected to the psychological and developmental problems is still limited with a basis on less evidence that is recommended. However, blood pressure and other conditions have been reported as early as 2012 with research through the British Medical Journal.

The SSRIs may include Zoloft, Prozac and Paxil for depression and a number of others for various conditions. These could lead to persistent pulmonary hypertension when the baby is still a newborn. This could lead to defects in the heart, damage to the lungs, injury to the baby’s brain, spinal cord complications and other birth defects that are either serious initially or may become so in the future. The statistics explain that one in 500 babies suffer from these complications after birth has completed. The Journal had warned as far back as 2006 of possible problems in birth defects.

The Effects of Antidepressants during Pregnancy

When the possibility is birth defects or the unwanted symptoms of depression are warring between each other, the pregnant mother may need to seek a second opinion. Many physicians encourage the use of these pills to combat the depressive tendencies due to the unclear link to birth defects. This is because some persons have greater symptoms and may be affected worse by the condition than by the possibility that the infant is born with some defect. However, the answer may be unclear without further data to support these claims. This is where medical expert witnesses become vital to a claim through presenting and explaining the science and statistics behind these incidents.

Experts in the medical field are hired for both an assessment of the situation and t determine if injuries have been sustained. However, many of these circumstances are not solved until the child is born and an analysis is completed. If the patient followed the instructions of the doctor and it led to birth defects, he or she may be able to avoid malpractice due to guidelines and rules followed during the diagnosis and treatment administered for depression. These events require someone with more knowledge and experience to determine if malpractice occurred and how the SSRIs led to the injury. The professional may need to conduct additional research after hire to provide an opinion.

Expert Testimony in SSRI Cases

Once the expert has been hired, he or she starts work on the evidence and other factors surrounding the incident. The birth defects must be examined and assessed for additional data. Then, the expert witness may explain to the court what he or she believes occurred.


Provided by HG.org


Disclaimer: While every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of this publication, it is not intended to provide legal advice as individual situations will differ and should be discussed with an expert and/or lawyer.

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