Birth Defects Attorneys: Study Links Topiramate to Oral Birth Defects

While pregnant, women need to be especially careful about what foods and medications that they put into their bodies. Early in the first trimester, while many women are not even aware that they are pregnant, the baby is at a heightened risk for birth defects due to medications being ingested by their mother. Our birth defects attorneys have been writing for months about the drug Topamax and its connection to cleft lip and palate birth defects.

Mothers Taking Active Ingredient in Topamax Three Times More Likely to have Children with Birth Defects

new jersey philadelphia birth defects attorneys topamax topiramate studiesA recent study called Comparative Safety of Topiramate During Pregnancy, performed by researchers from Harvard University, MassGeneral Hospital for Children, and Loyola University in Chicago, has come to the conclusion that topiramate increases chances of birth defects. According to the study, women who take the active ingredient in the medication Topamax during their first trimester of pregnancy increase the risk of their children being born with major oral birth defects. The study analyzed statistics of 6,456 pregnant women and “compared the frequency of adverse pregnancy outcomes for those who had used topiramate during their first trimester to a control group.” The results were that the children whose mothers took topiramate were almost three times more likely to be born with a birth defect, 3.8 %, than the mothers who did not, 1.3 %.

Birth Defects Lawyers in New Jersey and Philadelphia

If you are a pregnant and currently taking Topamax or any drug containing topiramate, speak with your doctor as soon as possible about other, safer options. If you are a parent who has recently given birth to a child who suffers from a birth defect that you believe can be attributed to a prescription drug, contact the Mininno Law Office to speak with birth defects lawyers and discuss your legal rights. You may also call for a free case evaluation and consultation at (856) 833-0600 in New Jersey, or (215) 567-2380 in Philadelphia.

Support Does Exist for Children with Facial Clefts

new jersey philadelphia birth defects lawyers support exist children facial cleptsChildren born with cleft lips or cleft palates often face many challenges while growing up. Development is changed drastically, and learning to eat and speak becomes harder than ever. While surgeries are indeed available to correct craniofacial birth defects, these surgeries can be overwhelmingly expensive for some families, leaving parents and child forced to cope with these oral malformations.

Luckily, however, foundations exist to help children and parents move forward with treatment and therapy after a child is born with a cleft lip and/or palate. These foundations provide support and education, and some even provide treatment at discounted rates so that families without insurance can afford the costly procedures.

The Cleft Palate Foundation

The mission of The Cleft Palate Foundation is to:

“enhance the quality of life for individuals affected by cleft lip and palate and other craniofacial birth defects.”

nj adn pa birth defects lawyersThe foundation operates the CLEFTLINE, a toll free 800 number that provides information to callers about facial clefts and other oral malformations. Callers will also be provided with information regarding cleft palate support groups in their regions.

In addition to CLEFTLINE (1-800-24-CLEFT), the foundation provides free publications to website visitors regarding craniofacial research, meetings and events, available scholarships, and teams of specialists available in their area to provide treatment.


nj and pa birth defects attorneysSmileTrain is a charity that provides oral cleft repair surgery for only $250 to poor families. They do this through funding from benefactors, and through donations from civilians like you and I. In addition to providing parents with the opportunity to afford the procedure, SmileTrain also trains doctors in over 75 countries to perform craniofacial surgeries on children.

SmileTrain makes it possible for children to live normal lives who otherwise would be forced to face a life of handicaps and physical deformities. The charity is a wonderful cause, and we urge anyone with the extra funds to make a donation.

Birth Defects Lawyers in New Jersey and Philadelphia

Craniofacial birth defects, like oral clefts, can have internal and external causes. It has recently been determined that one of those external causes is the use of the anti-convulsant drug Topamax, used to treat epilepsy and chronic migraines. When used during pregnancy, or extensively by women of childbearing age, the risk of a fetus developing an oral cleft becomes much greater. Doctors have been alerted that prescribing this drug to pregnant women could end up doing more harm than good, and that only when no other viable treatment options exist should it be prescribed to pregnant women.

If your child was born with a craniofacial birth defect and you believe that it could be attributed to your use of Topamax, you probably have a lot of questions regarding your legal rights. Contact the Mininno Law Office for a free case evaluation, or call for a free consultation at (856) 833-0600 in New Jersey, or (215) 567-2380 in Philadelphia.
If your child suffers from a cleft lip or cleft palate, there is help. Don’t wait to ask for it.

Birth Injury Attorneys Earn Large Verdict in New Jersey

The Jersey Journal reported yesterday on a birth injury settlement that took place in Bayonne, New Jersey. The settlement was for $8.5 million dollars and went to the Ordonez family, after negligence caused their son to be born with brain damage, and therefore suffer permanent disabilities.

The Ordonez’s Ordeal

new jersey philadelphia birth injury attorneys win large verdictAccording to Francis Dorrity, the Ordonez’s attorney, Emily was admitted to the Bayonne Medical Center at 1:30 am on August 15, 2005 with the beginning pains of labor. All tests showed a healthy baby. But at 9:32am, the machine monitoring the baby’s heart rate showed a rapid drop from 140 beats per minute to a dangerous 60 beats per minute.

Hospital phone records show that the the delivery room nurse waited nearly a half an hour before she called the attending obstetrician to alert him of the complication. The obstetrician arrived from Staten Island 22 minutes later and waited until 10:55am to perform the 4 minute emergency C-Section.

The babies heart rate fell because of umbilical cord compression, which caused the fetus to be denied adequate oxygen. José Ordonez, now 5, was born with permanent brain damage, leaving him blind, unable to walk or hold his head up, and prone to seizures. José feeds through a straw and will require round-the-clock care for the remainder of his life.

The settlement will provide $6 million dollars to José to pay for his life-long medical care, and $2.5 million will go to his parents for pain and suffering.

José now attends the Concordia Learning Center, and Dorrity says the staff there has helped him tremendously.

“Through their efforts and teaching at Concordia Learning Center this child has seen improvement in the way of cognition and recognition. He responds to voice and touching in ways he didn’t before.”

Birth Injury Attorneys in New Jersey and Philadelphia

If your child was injured at birth and you now have questions regarding your legal rights, contact the Mininno Law Office for a free case evaluation. You may also call at (856) 833-0600 in New Jersey, or (215) 567-2380 in Philadelphia. Let the medical malpractice and birth injury attorneys answer any questions you may have.