An omphalocele is an abdominal wall defect characterized as a type of hernia in which the infant’s intestine or other abdominal organs protrude out through the umbilical cord. As a result, the intestines are only protected by a thin layer of exposed tissue. In this article we will discuss the signs and symptoms, causes, risk factors and treatments for an omphalocele.
If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with an omphalocele after taking an antidepressant, you should contact our lawyers immediately for a free confidential case evaluation. You may be entitled to compensation for your injuries and we can help.
Omphalocele Signs & Symptoms
The signs and symptoms of an omphalocele are readily recognizable at birth because of a large protrusion emanating from the bellybutton. Symptoms can vary greatly depending on the severity of the rupture. In small omphaloceles, only a small portion of the small intestine might protrude into the base of the umbilical cord. However, large omphaloceles may contain most of the abdominal organs.
Causes of Omphalocele
An omphalocele is a congenital birth defect that occurs when the muscles in the abdominal wall do not close properly. The exact cause of this defect remains unknown. However, in July 2006, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued a warning about the birth defect risks caused by using antidepressants during pregnancy. Antidepressants have been linked to an increased risk of omphalocele in children born to mothers who took them during pregnancy. The following is a list of antidepressant medications that have been linked to this type of birth defect:
- Zoloft (Sertraline)
- Celexa (Citalopram)
- Prozac (Fluoxetine)
- Lexapro (Escitalopram)
- Symbyax (fluoxetine and olanzapine)
- Effexor (Venlafaxine)
Omphalocele Risk Factors
Risk factors associated with omphalocele are generally unknown due to the congenital nature of the defect. However, antidepressants have been linked to an increased risk of omphalocele in children born to mothers who took them during pregnancy.
The link was first discovered in 2005 after Canadian researchers conducted an analysis of the National Birth Defects Prevention study, and later confirmed by research found in the New England Journal of Medicine. According to the cumulative research, the use of antidepressants during pregnancy significantly increases the risk of omphalocele in newborns.
To fix an omphalocele, the sac is covered with a special man-made material, which is then stitched in place. Slowly, over time, the abdominal contents are pushed into the abdomen. When the omphalocele can comfortably fit within the abdominal cavity, the man-made material is removed and the abdomen is closed.
Do I have an Omphalocele Lawsuit?
The trial lawyers at The Senators (Ret.) Firm, LLP have decades of experience navigating through complex legislative and regulatory issues and litigating high stakes cases all over the nation. Our law firm focuses on the representation of plaintiffs in Omphalocele lawsuits. We are currently accepting new cases in all 50 states.
Again, if you or a loved one has been diagnosed with Omphalocele after taking an antidepressant, you should contact our lawyers immediately by clicking the link below or calling toll free 1-(949) 557-5800. You may be entitled to compensation for your injuries and we can help.