Sodium Valproate Syndrome is a condition leading to physical or mental abnormalities in children as a result of mothers taking anti-epilepsy / anti-convulsant drugs during their pregnancy.
Recent court cases have revealed that such prescribed treatments have probably been taken by around 200,000 people in the UK alone, with worldwide figures being far in excess of these numbers.
The outcome for some families where mothers have taken these drugs, without being fully aware of the risks to unborn children, have in certain cases been devastating, leaving children (now often grown adults) with life-long metal or physical problems.
While UK drug manufacturers now say that ‘Epilim’ the brand name for Sodium Valproate is no longer the first choice of epilepsy treatment for women of childbearing age, this change of position has come far too late for some families. Regulators say manufacturers must now give accurate warnings in relation to risks and possible side-effects.
Families of affected children and the legal sector are now claiming that such warnings have been far too slow, and also that medical professionals have not received the necessary training, nor suitable information, to provide them with the knowledge that such risks have been very real for many years, and should be of major concern to women and families planning to have children.
A recent BBC article has revealed that “Babies exposed to the drug in the womb have a 40% risk of developing autism, low IQ and learning disabilities, with a 10% chance of developing physical abnormalities.”
It is also widely accepted by medical professionals that other Sodium Valproate Syndrome effects include: deformities of the face and head (which include cleft palate); bone deformity including dislocation of the hip, arms and legs may not form correctly in sufferers, problems may occur in the development of the urinary tract, malformation of the heart and arteries, and spinal cord problems may also be a result,
As a parent or guardian, having a child now suffering life-long health implications (whether mental or physical) that will no doubt affect their quality of life is one of the worst situations imaginable. Where drug companies or health professional have failed in their duty of care the feeling can be one of devastation. There is also the possibility of long-term financial implications for parents and carers of children (or adults affected during development in the womb), in the provision of support and the quality of care needed in order to simply make life as normal as it can be.
Considering Legal action may not be the first thing a parent or guardian thinks about when symptoms first become clear, or indeed at present, during this current media furore regarding Sodium Valproate Syndrome.
Legal action can provide the financial compensation that can afford your family the possibility of a better quality of life where these effects are being felt. Our highly experienced clinical negligence legal team can discuss your options in an honest, sympathetic, expert and friendly way, to advise you on the best course of action.
Lanyon Bowdler’s team of clinical negligence professions have many years’ experience and are widely acclaimed with national recognition in helping clients achieve the compensation they deserve following negligence relating to medical procedures.
Any negligent medical treatment which has caused harm to your child can be eligible for a legal claim. Paediatric compensation claims are not limited to work undertaken by a paediatrician, nor are they only limited to claimants who are still children.
The solicitors here at Lanyon Bowdler have an excellent reputation for handling prescribed drug injury claims effectively. Our legal specialists can provide all the knowledge and experience needed to pursue a successful case.
Please download our short guide about funding your claim.
Give us a call or complete our online enquiry form, to see how we can help. We have offices in Telford, Shrewsbury, Oswestry, Ludlow, Bromyard and Hereford, but our scale and expertise allows us to work with clients right across Wales and England.
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