Monday, June 24

Birth Defect Attorney: The Good, The Bad, And The Ugly

What Causes a Birth Defect?

The last thing a expecting parent would like to hear is that their child may have a birth deformity. These birth defects are caused by things that happen during the fetal stage and could affect your child’s physical or mental health.

A health professional can identify birth defects during pregnancy using newborn screening or prenatal tests. However, other birth defects may not be identified until after your child’s birth or when they start to develop symptoms.

What was the reason for your child’s deformity?

The causes of many birth defects remains unknown. There are certain factors which can increase the chances of a woman having a child with a birth defect. These include using drugs or taking certain medications prior to the birth, having a family member with birth defects or certain medical conditions like rheumatic heart disease. Women who have a family history of these conditions are advised to consult an expert in genetic counseling prior to getting pregnant.

Whether a child’s birth defect causes serious problems or not is dependent on which body part is affected and how much of the body part affected. The more serious a birth defect is, the more serious the problems.

Most birth defects are caused by genetics or the environment during the fetal development. The chance of developing birth defects can be decreased by educating yourself about your family’s history of health and genetic issues or talking to a genetic counselor and following prenatal care guidelines.

Structural defects are birth defects that affect the way an area of your body looks or performs. They can range from the visible like cleft lips and cleft palate to the invisible, like metabolic disorders or chromosome disorder. Inherited genetic conditions can be a type of structural birth defects. Environmental factors, such as the lack of folic acids, can cause neural tube defects that cause brain or spinal cord development not being correct.

Gather More Evidence Than You Think

There are many medical procedures a pregnant mother is able to undergo in order to discover more about the possibility of birth defects. Amniocentesis is one of them, which involves a medical professional taking a small sample of fetal fluid for testing. This test can reveal chromosomal defects as well as other health conditions, such as infections (such as Zika or rubella) or genetic anomalies.

A doctor can also test a fetus’ blood or amniotic fluid as well as the umbilical cord for signs of birth defects. These tests are crucial in diagnosing the root of birth defects. They also help determine the severity of a birth defect and its effects on a child’s adult life.

However, some birth defects can be missed until a baby is born, or in rare instances, when an adult. These conditions are not detectable until they have been identified, and often can only be detected using diagnostic equipment. In these instances the medical expert witness must be knowledgeable with the latest technologies and possess the knowledge and experience required to be able identify the defects. A medical malpractice lawyer with experience should be able to identify the appropriate expert for your case.

Employ a Medical Malpractice Lawyer

A child born with a serious defect or birth injury can drastically alter the life of families. These injuries can cause life-long physical and emotional challenges which often require an entire lifetime of medical attention.

Although medical science has been able to identify the root causes of around 30 percent of birth defects others remain unsolved. Studies have shown that certain chemicals and substances can cause birth defects, like those present in prescription or over the counter medications a mother takes, the toxic chemicals at work in some communities and birth defects in homes, or the contaminating air and groundwater.

Doctors are required to assess the dosage of medication taken by the expecting mother and inform her of any possible risks for the foetus. If they fail to perform this obligation, they could be held liable for birth defects that are caused by medications.

Doctors must also evaluate the safety and efficacy of any procedure or device they recommend to pregnant women. This includes x-ray instruments, surgical instruments and other equipment. If a physician is negligent when using the equipment, or fails to correctly calibrate the equipment, it could have grave consequences for the baby. This would be considered malpractice. When this happens, it’s important to speak with a medical malpractice attorney as soon as possible. In certain states, you’re only given a single year to file a medical malpractice case, so the sooner you begin the process the more favorable.

Take the First Step

Birth defects affect one out of 33 babies born each year and are a major reason for infant death. These conditions can be life-threatening and can result in lasting physical, cognitive and emotional issues. Scientists have, in some instances, connected the causes of birth defects to the mother’s exposures to prescription and over-the-counter medications as well as environmental toxins, complications of motherhood, infections, pregnancy and delivery or a family medical history or genetic disorders (like sickle cell disease PKU, or other genetic illnesses). But in about 70% of birth defects cases, the causes are unknown.

Some birth defects, check out your url,, like hearing loss or a clubfoot are easy to detect and are easily diagnosed either at birth or during the first year of a child’s life. Other birth defects, such as heart defects or developmental and intellectual disabilities, are not as easily identifiable and require specialized tests.

Researchers are working to understand what causes birth defects and how some of them can be prevented. For instance women who smoke or drink alcohol, or use illegal drugs during pregnancy increase the risk of having a baby with certain birth defects. Women with a family history of inherited genetic disorders should consider seeing a genetic counselor before trying to get pregnant. They should also utilize the March of Dimes Family Health History form to collect data regarding medical conditions that are prevalent through their families. This information should be shared with their doctor or genetic counselor.