A birth injury attorney knows that prescription error is one of the many causes of birth injury. An attorney can help evaluate your case and determine your best course of action, but it also helps to understand the basics of how prescription drugs can cause harm to an expectant mother.
Ideally, pharmaceutical drugs help people prevent, treat, and manage physical and mental illnesses, extending life and improving quality of life for millions of people across the world. Unfortunately, they can also be dangerous if they’re taken under the wrong circumstances.
A prescription error can occur when a physician prescribes the incorrect drug for an illness, or the incorrect amount of medication. In some cases, a doctor may prescribe a drug to a patient who should not be on it, due to other medical conditions they may have.
Pregnancy is one of the conditions that call for a doctor to re-evaluate a course of treatment, including any drugs being prescribed. There are some pharmaceuticals that should not be given to pregnant women, or that can be given only in certain amounts or under certain circumstances. When deciding to prescribe a drug to an expectant mother, a physician needs to weigh the risks against the benefits and make an educated decision.
Doctors are human beings too, and humans make mistakes. While medical practitioners have been taking steps to avoid errors, they are still common occurrences.
Any medication can be dangerous when it’s prescribed incorrectly, but according to the American Council for Drug Education, some of the more common drugs that can cause problems in pregnant women include:
- Seizure medications; and
- Heart disease/stroke medications.
When a physician makes an error involving prescription drugs for a pregnant patient, they can put into motion a series of events that can lead to serious illness for the patient, her baby or both. The infant can be at risk for birth defects like brain problems, physical malformations, especially if harmful drugs are taken early in the pregnancy. Even taken at the end of your pregnancy, other serious medical issues can arise. For example, the anti-anxiety drug diazepam can cause shaking and reflex problems in the newborn when taken late in pregnancy.
Usually these problems are evident at birth, but sometimes they can take time to manifest themselves, such as Cerebral Palsy. That’s why it’s important to seek counsel as soon as you suspect that a doctor’s error may have caused your baby’s problems.
Timing is also important because of the statute of limitations. Most states have time limits on filing suit for any type of personal injury claim. In Ohio, the statute of limitations on medical malpractice is one year from the time of the event. Considering the time it takes to gather evidence, medical reports, and other documentation to build a strong case, it’s important you seek legal representation as soon as possible.
The emotional and financial strain that parents suffer when their child is disabled is unlike any other. It’s common for parents to want an answer to the “why” of their baby’s physical condition, and they deserve answers.
Contacting a Birth Injury Attorney
If you’ve been hurt by a doctor’s mistake, an birth injury attorney can investigate the details of your medical malpractice case to make sure that you and your child receive fair treatment and the compensation that’s available to you through the law. Call (440) 252-4399 and speak with the lawyers at The Becker Law Firm. We’ll guide you through the process of filing a claim and fight for your right to fair treatment.