A recent study reveals that 14 percent of pregnant women in the U.S. are prescribed powerful painkillers by their doctors. The statistic is particularly unsettling because there is little research about the effects of narcotics on unborn children.
Of the few studies that have examined the effects of painkillers on unborn infants, one found that babies have more than a twofold increase risk of birth defects when the mother takes opioid narcotics. This study is reason enough for physicians to only prescribe pregnant patients narcotic painkillers as a last resort.
At the very least, doctors need to be upfront with patients about the uncertainties regarding painkiller use during pregnancy. Mothers-to-be should be given as much information as possible so they can make an informed decision on whether their pain is great enough to risk harming the baby.
Further, if a doctor isn’t confident that painkiller use is reasonably safe in a particular situation – including pregnancies – then he or she should not be writing prescription that may result in severe injury or preventable death.
If you are pregnant and your doctor doesn’t hesitate to write you a painkiller prescription without first discussing potential side effects to the infant, then perhaps it is time to search for another physician who looks at the bigger picture?
If a doctor negligently prescribed you harmful medication during pregnancy that may have harmed your baby, an experienced medication errors lawyer can help you explore your legal options for recovering money damages.
McKeen & Associates, P.C., is a law firm with a nationwide reputation for recovering large damage awards on behalf of medical malpractice victims. Based in Detroit, McKeen attorneys have the resources to adeptly handle claims anywhere in the U.S.
Source: AboutLawsuits.com, “Many Pregnant Moms Given Narcotics Despite Unknown Risks: Study,” Irvin Jackson, Feb. 19, 2014