Common Serious Birth Defects
There are many different types of possible birth defects, some of which include the following:
- Cardiovascular defects;
- Cleft palate and/or cleft lip;
- Down syndrome;
- Eye defects;
- Gastrointestinal defects.
- Other chromosomal anomalies;
- Musculoskeletal defects;
- Spina bifida
While some birth defects can be partially or completely corrected by surgery, others are not treatable and a child live with the challenges of the defect their entire life. Parents may also be responsible for ongoing medical care and assistance for the child.
Causes of Birth Defects
- Lead, mercury, or other heavy metals;
- SSRIs and other prescription drugs;
- Cleaning products and solutions;
- X-rays and other radiation exposure;
- Petroleum products;
- Volatile organic compounds (VOC);
- Toxic chemical exposure;
- Alcohol or tobacco.
While knowingly using alcohol, tobacco, or illegal drugs while pregnant would not result in a claim, a birth defect due to exposure to other environmental factors at home or work is often the basis for a valid claim.
Depending on where the exposure occurred, you may be able to hold your employer, municipal government, landlord, home builder, or similar party liable for the losses of you and your child due to the resulting birth defect. Establishing a connection between a particular birth defect and environmental exposure can involve complex medical evidence, so you want to have the help of an attorney who is familiar with this type of case and who has the resources needed to prove your claim.
Failure to Diagnose Birth Defects
In some cases, a birth defect may be so severe that parents may make the extremely difficult decision to terminate the pregnancy. This can avoid health risks to the mother, unnecessary pain and suffering of the child, and more. Medical professionals should carefully screen for birth defects as part of a mother’s prenatal care.
If a medical professional should have identified a severe birth defect and failed to do so, parents may be able to hold the doctor liable for their unnecessary losses by filing a medical malpractice claim. If you want to discuss whether you may have a malpractice claim involving your child’s birth defect, please call to discuss your case today.
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