Protecting Your Rights if Your Child Suffered from an Undetected Birth Defect
During a pregnancy, it is only natural for every parent to wish for nothing but a healthy, happy baby with “ten fingers and ten toes.” Unfortunately, about three percent of babies born in the United States each year are born with inherent malformations, abnormalities, or other health issues as a result of birth defects. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that birth defects are the number one cause of deaths among infants in the U.S. Children who survive may face many different challenges and impairments during their lives.
Properly identifying and diagnosing birth defects is a key element of prenatal care in many situations. Proper diagnosis means that mothers can receive any special treatment required during pregnancy, doctors can plan for a C-section or other special delivery adjustments, and the hospital staff can be prepared for any treatment required immediately after the birth.
Despite the importance of diagnosing a birth defect ahead of time, you may be surprised at how many birth defects go undiagnosed, sometimes resulting in unnecessary and additional birth injuries. If your baby suffered injury due to an undiagnosed birth defect, you may have the right to take legal action against the doctor or hospital that should have been aware of the issues involved in the birth.
The birth injury attorneys at the Dolman Law Group know how to handle these complex medical malpractice claims based on the failure to diagnose serious conditions during pregnancy, including birth defects. If you would like to discuss what happened to your child, please do not hesitate to call our office today for help.
Types of Birth Defects
There are numerous types of birth defects that may develop during a pregnancy. Some may be curable, while others may result in lasting impairments for the child. Birth defects can be neurological, degenerative, sensory, metabolic, or affect more than one of these systems. Some common serious birth defects include the following:
- Congenital heart defects
- Sickle cell disease
- Hemoglobin disorders
- Down syndrome
- Prader-Willi syndrome
- Glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase (G6PD) deficiency
- Rett syndrome
- Muscular dystrophy
- Williams syndrome
- Congenital rubella
- Tay-Sachs disease
- Spina bifida
- Atrioventricular septal defect
- Hypoplastic left heart syndrome
- Cleft palate
- Cleft lip
- Tracheoesophageal fistula
- Esophageal, rectal, or large intestinal atresia
- Reduction deformities
- Trisomy 13 or Trisomy 18
As you can see, the list of possible birth defects is long, and the above list is not exhaustive. However, if certain birth defects are discovered and identified, medical science is often capable of designing an immediate treatment plan that gives a child the best chance at life.
Learning that your child has a birth defect is never what you want; however, it is much better than not knowing and being surprised when complications suddenly present at birth. For this reason, doctors should always use the required care to test for and diagnose birth defects whenever possible and appropriate.
Failure to Identify Birth Defects and the Potential Harm Caused
Diagnosing birth defects whenever possible is important for many reasons. First, many babies with birth defects may need to be delivered by C-section or have other special considerations during labor and delivery. If at the time of delivery, a doctor is still unaware of a birth defect that requires particular care, serious injuries can occur because the necessary precautions have not been taken.
In addition, many birth defects will result in breathing issues, cardiac impairments, or other vital health problems that require immediate medical attention once a baby is delivered. Many children born with birth defects are immediately whisked away to the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) for emergency stabilization and treatment.
When a birth defect is not diagnosed as it should have been, the medical team may not be properly prepared and serious complications can arise very quickly. If nurses and hospital staff are not ready to transport the baby to the NICU or provide other necessary assistance, the baby may be deprived of oxygen (hypoxia) or suffer from other dangerous conditions. Hypoxia and other states of medical stress can result in brain and other birth injuries that may have lasting cognitive and physical effects.
Finally, some birth defects are so severe that the fetus will have no chance of surviving after birth, no matter what steps are taken. Such situations can put the pregnant woman’s life in danger, as well. Often, if doctors and parents learn of severe and dangerous birth defects that are also life-threatening to the woman, they may choose to terminate the pregnancy in a safe manner instead of putting everyone at risk of death. If a birth defect of such serious proportions is not diagnosed, the complications can be devastating, the unnecessary medical bills can be overwhelming, and the physical and emotional trauma can be ongoing.
Call Our Clearwater Birth Injury Law Firm to Learn How We Can Help You
Having a child with an undiagnosed birth defect can be traumatizing for everyone involved. If a medical team is not prepared for a birth defect, the complications can be substantial and the costs of additional treatment can rise quickly.
Furthermore, undiagnosed birth defects are only one of many reasons that birth injuries occur. Any type of birth injury can result in losses for you and your child, including medical expenses, emotional and physical trauma, life-long impairments, and more. At the Dolman Law Group, we firmly believe that negligent medical professionals should be held fully liable for any unnecessary harm they have caused your family.
Birth injury cases can be complicated but our legal team has the experience and skill to take on doctors, hospitals, and their insurance companies head-on to ensure your rights are protected. Please contact our birth injury attorneys for a free consultation at 727-451-6900 or by using our online contact form today.
Dolman Law Group
800 North Belcher Road
Clearwater, FL 33765