Case Evaluation

If your child was born with a developmental complication and you were taking Zoloft during pregnancy, you may have a case.

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According to the FDA,

Zoloft and other SSRIs have been linked to serious developmental side effects in infants

Zoloft & Omphalocele

Omphalocele is a birth defect that occurs in the abdominal wall at the site of the navel. The wall is ruptured, causing the baby's intestines and other abdominal organs to protrude outside of the body. Unlike other types of congenital defects of the abdomen, in omphalocele, the peritoneum, a thin sac or membrane surrounding the organs also protrudes, so the organs or not directly exposed. The size of the defect may vary, and complications are less severe when the defect is smaller.

Causes of Omphalocele

Omphalocele is a type of hernia that develops while a fetus in still inside the womb. As the muscles of the abdominal wall develop, they are supposed to close in a ring around the umbilical area, but this does not occur to completion in babies with omphalocele. Omphalocele is linked to genetic birth defects, and in up to 40 percent of occurrences, it is accompanied by other congenital defects, including diaphragm and heart defects. Recently studies have linked some cases of Omphalocele to use of antidepressants during pregnancy. One study found that Omphalocele was 2.8 times more likely to occur in children whose mothers took antidepressants during pregnancy.

Treatment of Omphalocele

Treatment of omphalocele is surgical, but the surgery may not be carried out immediately. In most cases, the peritoneum is still protecting the abdominal organs from serious harm, so if more serious defects are present, such as heart defects, those may be treated first. The surgery for omphalocele begins by covering the organ sac with surgical mesh. This material acts as a kind of netting that will hold the organs inside the abdomen while the abdominal wall heals itself. In time, the organs take up normal positions inside the abdominal cavity.

In some cases, the protruding organs are too large to fit comfortably back into the abdominal cavity. This occurs when the skin around the defect grows, tightening or covering the rupture. In such cases, the organs are surgically inserted as best as possible. Later, after growth, another surgical procedure can be performed to reduce cosmetic aberrations.

Prognosis of Omphalocele

In most cases, babies with omphalocele experience complete recovery after undergoing successful surgery. However, some complications may arise during the surgery that can cause infection or the death of portions of the intestines. The chances of successful surgery are also linked to other birth defects that may be present. The risk of complications is higher when the baby has other defects.

The risk of complications from omphalocele is also reduced when the condition is identified before delivery. When it is identified early, the mother and the fetus can be monitored closely to ensure the baby is healthy as it comes to term. Plans can also be made for immediate surgery after a careful delivery.

More Information

If you or a loved one have or know someone that has Omphalocoele and need more information regarding this condition or if you suspect the condition was caused by the use of antidepressants by the mother during pregnancy and wish to get more information about protecting the child's legal rights contact us online for assistance.

More Info

Informational Pamphlet
Treatment Options