Claims Involving Undiagnosed Birth Defects

Defective Drugs
Birth Defects

A number of things may cause birth defects. These include pharmaceuticals taken by the mother during pregnancy, family histories, genetics and environmental factors. However, there are instances when these defects are the result of physician negligence –otherwise known as medical malpractice.

Every parent hopes to give birth to a healthy baby. Unfortunately, figures from the Centers for Disease Control indicate that about three percent of the babies born in the US every year are born with health issues including malformations and abnormalities. Birth defects continue to be one of the leading causes of infant death. Those who do survive often face various challenges throughout their lives.

Common birth defects

A number of birth defects can affect infants. These defects may develop during pregnancy as opposed to birth injuries which are caused by trauma during labor and delivery. While some may result in lifelong impairment in the child, others are curable. Some of the most common birth defects include:

  • Hemoglobin disorders
  • Sickle cell disease
  • Congenital heart defects
  • Spina bifida
  • Down syndrome
  • Rett syndrome
  • Glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase (G6PD)
  • Tay-Sachs disease
  • Williams syndrome
  • Muscular dystrophy
  • Galactosemia
  • Cleft lip
  • Cleft palate
  • Hydrostatic left heart syndrome
  • Reduction deformities and many more

Importance of early diagnosis

It can be difficult to learn that your child has developed a birth defect. However, not all birth defects will result in life-long impairment. Some defects can be treated if they are identified early. Proper diagnosis of the defect allows medical professionals to provide special treatment and care to the child during the pregnancy. Doctors can plan for interventions such as C-sections or adjustments in delivery to minimize the effects of the birth defect and provide the newborn with much needed care.

Early diagnosis can:

  1. Help the medical team be better prepared to provide specialized care for the infant once it is born.
  2. Prevent further complications.
  3. Ensure that the mother and child are provided with specialized care during and after pregnancy.
  4. Help the medical team to plan for the safe delivery of the child.
  5. Help the parents to decide whether they should terminate the pregnancy if the birth defects are too severe for the child to survive after birth.

There are many cases where birth defects go undiagnosed. The lack of diagnosis may result in additional or unnecessary harm to the baby. If your baby was born with birth defects that were undiagnosed, you may be able to seek compensation by making a claim against the doctor or health facility that provided you with care during the pregnancy and birth of your child. 

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