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Birth Defects: An Unexpected Plot Twist

In an old film, it was been said that “to live would be an awfully big adventure”.

Well, in real life, the adventure can be that much more difficult when your first plot twist happens long before you are even actually born. There are many social stigmas that surround every little imperfection, even if these things were not things that anyone asked for. Being born with a birth defect can have many potentially psychologically scarring experiences as well as judgment from peers, therefore drastically affecting anyone’s self-esteem as well as limiting opportunities from the get go.

There are even some birth defects that affect the way one can live their lives or even shorten someone’s life span. Congenital heart defects are one of these possible difficult anomalies that come as a result of birth defect. There are a multitude of scientific reasons as to why someone could be born with these afflictions. Sometimes, however, it is due to medication that has these unprecedented side effects that the mother might have taken during the pregnancy.

One such drug that is currently being linked to the aforementioned defects is called Zofran. This is a drug more often used with patients being treated for cancer with chemotherapy. It is used to lessen the nausea and it is not exclusively for the use of cancer patients. Now, nausea is also often a side effect of pregnancy and some mothers-to-be still require being able to work for a while, even while pregnant, and so are sometimes advised to take medication to stay the nausea, Zofran being one of the more popular choices.

According to the website of Williams Kherkher, if a fetus were to be exposed to the drug, it could result into defects that could be detrimental to the health of the child. If this is the case for you, however, there are some legal options that you could avail of because there are some possible rights that you might not be aware that you have.

Side Effects of Alloderm on Trial

As cynics like to say, there’s always a catch. What seemed to be the ideal solution to a painful situation has turned out to be less so as time has revealed, and in the medical field, that often means a lawsuit.

This is the current situation for LifeCell, mother company Kinetic Concepts Inc., and tissue matrix product Alloderm. Alloderm is an organic surgical mesh that is called an acellular  dermis, meaning that all biological material has been removed save for the dermal matrix to prevent rejection, that was designed to help burn victims grow tissue faster. It was first introduced in 1994 and had numerous successful applications making a lot of money for its manufacturer. So it was with confidence that LifeCell marketed the product for use in hernia repair because it could be done laparoscopically, which is less invasive than the traditional open technique. And that’s when the bubble burst.

Hernia repair using Alloderm proved to have an alarmingly high rate of failure and injury. The side effects of Alloderm in hernia repair typically required removal and repair surgery. There was a recurrence of the condition, pain, infection, swelling, and tissue adhesion. In 2012, the first cases were filed against LifeCell and KCI, alleging that the company failed to properly test the product for hernia repair while marketing it for that application. The cases had become so numerous that it was consolidated into a multidistrict litigation case in New Jersey.

Currently, the trial is set to select the bellwether cases that will be representative of the more than 300 cases that have been filed against the manufacturer. If you or someone in the family has suffered injury from the use of Alloderm for hernia repair, you may be able to file a case against LifeCell as well. Consult with a lawyer who has experience in dealing with Alloderm cases and find out your legal options.