Let’s Talk About SSRIs

The causes of birth defects are numerous and varied. Many of them are still shrouded in mystery, leaving some pregnancies harmed in the midst of perfectly healthy ones. But in the past several years, one factor has risen to the surface as having devastating potential for birth defects.

Multiple cases have emerged showing that SSRI anti-depressants significantly heighten the risk of ventricular heart defects, brain and spinal cord defects and major cardiovascular anomalies.

blog_7_22SSRI stands for selective serontonin reuptake inhibitor. They are used to treat social anxiety, chronic panic attacks, obsessive-compulsive disorder, chronic pain and post-traumatic stress disorder, along with depression. SSRIs work by stopping the brain’s nerve cells from re-absorbing serotonin (commonly thought of as the “feel-good hormone”), which it usually does after releasing serotonin into the body. When the serotonin is allowed to hang out longer in the gaps between nerve cells, it’s easier for the brain to regulate mood.

That is the theory, anyway. In practice, SSRIs have proved very controversial. Continue reading

Spotlight on: Birth Defect Research for Children

perey7_8_2The birth of a baby should be a joyful time full of wonder and amazement, welcoming a new life that has just emerged to grow, learn and take full advantage of all the world has to offer.

This is what all parents, whether new to the role or well-seasoned in raising children, look forward to with the birth of a baby. It’s this expectation that makes birth defects doubly tragic. Along with impairing a baby’s health, life expectancy and ability to thrive and achieve his or her potential, the occurrence of a birth defect sends hopeful new parents crashing to the ground.

Parents of babies born with birth defects can feel guilty, ashamed and anxious. Sometimes they struggle with feelings of responsibility, believing they ought to have been able to prevent it or somehow mitigate its result. Sometimes they have trouble bonding with their new child, and experience corresponding feelings of guilt. Nearly all of them feel deeply troubled for their child’s future, wondering where they can find help to guide them on this journey of raising a child with unexpected or unusual needs, or if there is any hope at all. Continue reading

Preventing Birth Defects: What You Can Do

It’s the last thing any expecting mother wants to hear: that the baby she’s been waiting for may not be as ready to meet the world as she expected.

Birth defects run the spectrum from minimal to critical. No matter what, they are always a source of concern, and often grief, for parents. What is even worse is the knowledge that these defects could possibly have been prevented. To do so requires a careful pregnancy.

perey7_8We at the Perey Law Group have represented a great number of cases dealing with preventable birth defects that have resulted by dangerous pharmaceutical drugs, medical negligence or other causes. Our experience has shown us certain patterns that can often lead to birth defects. In order to help prevent more parents from experiencing this tragedy, we offer a comprehensive resource on how to take care of yourself and do the utmost to ensure your baby is born healthy.

Here are some highlights: Continue reading

Construction Moratorium Proposed and Rejected in Mudslide Area

The mudslide on March 22 shocked Washington and the nation with its sudden devastation. But as area residents know all too well, it was hardly an isolated case.

Western Washington’s damp oceanic climate creates the perfect topographical conditions for landslide. While not every slide results in a staggering number of casualties like the most recent one in Snohomish County, they typically leave heartbreaking destruction in their wake.

Attorney Ron Perey, of the Perey Law Firm, has heard several such stories from mudslide victims in the past. For victims like these, he says there is a consistent need for specific information on the day-to-day risks posed by the area’s unique topography. He said recently that residents must rely on the government’s scientists to make the right decisions about this “hyper-specific” area of science. Continue reading

Officials Won’t Release Numbers of Birth Defect Cases in Yakima, Franklin and Benton Counties

Last September, a young Yakima mother named Andrea Jackman gave birth to a daughter named Olivia. But the baby’s entry into the world wasn’t the joyful occasion that a new mother expects. That’s because a few months into the pregnancy, Andrea was confronted with the news that her daughter’s brain and spine were not as closely connected as they should be. She had, in fact, the most severe form of spina bifida.

91584560Andrea wasn’t only heartbroken — she was blindsided. She’d had no idea her pregnancy might be liable for this condition. And it only got worse when the ultrasound doctor explained what it meant—that her daughter would be in a wheelchair all her life, most likely in a vegetative state.

Andrea is only one of an unprecedented number of mothers in Yakima, Franklin and Benton counties who have had babies with grave birth defects. And doctors are baffled by what might be causing it, NBC News reported. Continue reading

Welder Falls to His Death at Seattle Construction Site

The Washington Department of Labor had already been out to the Belltown construction site twice by the time Aaron Adair showed up on the job in early January. It was his first day of work at 101 Taylor Ave. Sadly, it would also be his last.

‘He Was the Life of the Party’

Adair, a welder from Anacortes, was 31 years old. He was engaged to be married in June.

While he was known for being a jovial guy in his social life — “the life of the party” — he had just as strong a reputation for being careful in his dangerous profession. His younger brother, Brady Adair, spoke of his skill admiringly, before describing the family’s shock when they got the call about Aaron Adair’s death.

“I just thought in my mind never him, never him. He’s too careful.”

Adair’s father, Dave, spoke on behalf of the grieving family, including Adair’s fiancee, Amanda, saying “We’ll get through it, but it’s going to be really hard.” Continue reading

Deadly Washington State Mudslide Leaves Families with Anguish and Unanswered Questions

Search and rescue crews continue to work near the towns of Oso and
Darrington a week after a mudslide left at least 24 people dead and numerous others missing.

The Darrington area, about 55 miles northeast of Seattle, experienced higher-than-normal rainfall, which may have triggered more than a square mile of earth to dislodge and cascade downhill. But other questions remain unanswered. The death toll has continued to rise as workers sift through the rubble that destroyed at least 30 homes.

‘Potential for a Catastrophic Failure’

The Seattle Times has uncovered a 1999 report filed with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers that warned of “the potential for a catastrophic failure” at the site of the landslide.

“We’ve known it would happen at some point. We just didn’t know when,” Daniel J. Miller, co-author of the report, told the Times.

If this catastrophe was predictable, why are we only hearing of this now, after so many lives have been lost?

Continue reading

Seattle Attorney and Pilot Comments on Chopper Crash

It is a sad day in Seattle.

At about 7:40 a.m. local time, a news helicopter crashed near the iconic Space Needle, killing two on board and critically injuring at least one man on the ground.

92572426Eyewitnesses said the chopper crashed moments after take-off, engulfing the wreckage and vehicles on the ground in flames. The critically injured survivor of the crash was able to crawl from his car and was taken to Harborview Medical Center, the Seattle PI reported.

Seattle attorney Doug Weinmaster, with the Perey Law Group, said thick plumes of smoke were visible from the firm’s nearby office. Weinmaster is a graduate of Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University and is a Federal Aviation Administration-licensed pilot.

We understand that the FAA and National Transportation Safety Board are on the ground starting an investigation into the cause of this crash,” Weinmaster said. “We have had several clients treated at Harborview (burn center). It is one of the best burn centers in the world – and everyone in Seattle is taking a moment of pause for prayers and positive thoughts for the victims.”

The chopper, which the FAA identified as a Eurocopter AS350, is operated by KOMO TV and also used by KING TV, CNN reported. It is owned by a helicopter company that employed the pilot, KOMO reported. The station identified the men who were killed as pilot Gary Pfitzner and photographer Bill Strothman.

The 38-year-old man injured on the ground was identified as Richard Newman. The PI reported later Tuesday that his condition had been upgraded from “critical” to “serious.”

For more information about aviation accidents visit this page.

‘Genuinely Frightening’ New Painkiller is Approved

The shock felt after the FDA’s recent approval of the new pain medication Zohydro wasn’t limited to advocacy groups and addiction treatment specialists. Even those on the FDA advisory committee were startled by it, considering that they had voted 11-to-2 against approval of the drug.

As much as 10 times more powerful than other painkiller in its class, Zohydro is not messing around.

‘It Will Kill People As Soon As It’s Released’

Zohydro was developed by pharmaceutical giant Zogenix. One capsule of the painkiller packs enough hydrocodone to kill a child, a doctor wrote recently in the Huffington Post. If taken by an adult unaccustomed to opioids, the medication could result in death.

158362155“It’s a whopping dose of hydrocodone packed in an easy-to-crush capsule,” said Dr. Andrew Kolodny, chief medical officer at Phoenix House, an addiction treatment center. “It will kill people as soon as it’s released.” Continue reading