The March of Dimes estimates that one out of every 28 babies born each year has some form of birth defect. These birth defects can be devastating for parents and potentially dangerous or fatal for the infant.
What are the Causes?
There are a number of factors that can contribute or to the development of a birth defect. Some of these causes include:
- Drugs / Medications
- Medical malpractice (see birth injury)
- Alcohol or illegal drugs during pregnancy
- Toxic exposure
- Maternal infection
Different Types of Birth Defects
There are several types of birth defects. Some of the most common birth defect types include:
- Cleft lip and palate
- Cereberal Palsy
- Erbs palsy
- Heart defects
- Atrial Septal Defect (ASD)
- Ventrical Septal Defect (VSD)
- Hypoplastic Left Heart (HLHS)
- Pulmonary Artresia
- Pulmonary Stenosis
- Coarctation of the Aorta
- Abnormal limbs (e.g. club foot)
- Spina bifida
- Mental retardation
- Cranial defects
- Neural tube defects
- Lung defects
- Down syndrome
- Muscular dystrophy
Some types of defects, such as cleft lip and palate, can be successfully treated with surgery. Others, including many metabolic disorders and congenital heart defects, are life threatening.
Filing a Lawsuit
Doctors who fail to provide adequate treatment during birth or pharmacists and drug companies who fail to warn their patients that certain medication side effects pose a risk of fetal birth defect may be liable able to file a lawsuit. If you plan on filing a lawsuit, you should contact a lawyer immediately. Each state has a time limit, called a statute of limitations, restricting how long you have to file a claim. The time limit varies from state to state. If you wait too long you will not be able to take legal action.
Contacting a Lawyer
Parents whose child was born with a birth defect which may have been caused by a defective drug, toxic exposure or someone else’s negligence may be entitled to compensation. Contact an experienced birth defect lawyer today to learn more about your legal rights.