Life Care Planning Expert Comments on Taking Depakote while Pregnant

After a woman prescribed Depakote gave birth to a child with numerous birth defects, she accused her neurologist of poor family planning advice. With a past history of epilepsy, the patient had been advised to continue using Depakote throughout her pregnancy, and her neurologist had chosen to titrate her dosage of the drug up as her weight increased. Her infant was born with numerous tube and midline birth defects, including hypospadias, cleft palate, wide set nipples, hypoplastic thumbs and cognitive impairment. The neurologist’s competency was questioned in the lawsuit, and an expert in medical life care planning was called to testify.

Question(s) For Expert Witness

  • 1. Do you have experience creating life care plans for patients with birth defects?

Expert Witness Response E-028860

I have extensive experience treating pediatric patients with neurological or cognitive impairments including those with congenital problems like the patient described in this case. I have collaborated on the life care plans of such patients and am very familiar with their long-term needs.


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