Hydranencephaly is a serious congenital condition under the category of neural tube birth injuries. The neural tube forms in a fetus at just two weeks of gestation and under normal development fuses together. The neural tube is the foundation of the child's central nervous system, eventually forming into the spinal cord and brain. In healthy babies, the brain develops two cerebral hemispheres, each side responsible for certain functions. In general, the right hemisphere is responsible for holistic and lateral thought processes, as well as space and distance perception. The left hemisphere controls language development, logic and linear thinking. A hydranencephaly birth defect happens when the neural tube fails to fuse properly and interferes with the normal formation of these cerebral hemispheres and instead two sacs filled with cerebrospinal fluid will develop. This will cause complex and serious consequences that will affect the child for life.
This severe neural tube birth defect affects the cerebral hemispheres but the cerebellum, brain stem and spinal cord may still be intact. Babies can be diagnosed while in utero, or the condition may go unnoticed until after birth. Hydranencephaly is a rare birth defect that affects approximately one in 10,000 live births in the United States.
Babies born with a hydranencephaly neural tube birth defect may show normal behavior such as sucking, crying, and swallowing at birth. In some instances, babies with this defect may be born with craniofacial malformations from the abnormal pressure buildup inside the skull. Although no immediate signs of hydranencephaly may be present at birth, within just a few weeks, babies with this condition will become irritable and may show increased muscle tone. After a few months, typical signs of hydranencephaly include seizures, blindness, hearing impairment, respiratory difficulties, and paralysis. Unfortunately, the prognosis rarely predicts children with hydranencephaly to survive past their first birthday. As of now, there is no cure for this condition, only physical therapy and medical treatments meant to support and comfort the child.
Oftentimes, hydranencephaly is detected in utero using modern ultrasound technology. Unfortunately, there is no existing procedures that can reverse this condition, even if the diagnosis is early in fetal development. Cranial ultrasonography is used to detect the absence of the cerebral hemispheres after the baby is born.
Genetic abnormalities, a blood vessel infection, or trauma to the fetus after the twelfth week of pregnancy are all possible causes of hydranencephaly. Another common cause is believed to be the use of pharmaceutical medication, especially anticonvulsant drugs during pregnancy. Exposure to prescribed medication has the potential to interrupt the healthy development of vital organs of a fetus and cause congenital birth defects like hydranencephaly or even death.
Hydranencephaly is one of many pharmaceutical drug-related congenital birth defects that can affect a growing baby. More research is revealing the side effects of taking prescribed medication while pregnant can increase the risk of developing minor and serious birth defects in a newborn. Families with children born with birth defects face staggering emotional and medical costs. If you believe a birth defect was caused by the use of pharmaceutical drugs, particularly anticonvulsant medication during pregnancy, there is help available. Defective drug lawyers specialize in holding the manufacturers of prescription medication responsible for the damaging side effects of their products. Contact a birth injury attorney for lawsuit information to help you collect the compensation you deserve.
Spread the word so women are aware of the risks for both anticonvulsant birth defects and antidepressant birth defects and so families dealing with the hardship and expenses of lifetime care can get financial help from experienced class action attorneys. Learn more about Side Effects from prescription drugs.
Click on the link and fill out the form. There is no obligation to hire an attorney after you fill out this form. You can simply find out your legal rights regarding your use of prescribed medicine while pregnant.
RX Birth Defects is an informational website that educates consumers on birth defects that could have been caused by drugs taken by the mother while pregnant. Most drugs have the most severe effect during the first trimester of pregnancy. Anticonvulsant and Antidepressant drugs include Celexa, Lexapro, Paxil, Pristiq, Prozac, Zoloft, Dilantin, Depakote and Topamax. This website has no relationship with any of the aforementioned drugs or pharmaceutical companies.