There are multiple issues that can cause congenital abnormalities in an infant, depending on the circumstances surrounding the pregnancy and the birth. Some causes of these birth defects may include:
- Prenatal complications.
- Genetic mutations or conditions.
- Maternal infections.
- Nutritional deficiencies.
- Exposure to chemicals, medications, alcohol, or drugs before birth.
If your child exhibits any type of congenital abnormality at birth or soon after, it is important that you take steps to get an accurate diagnosis and learn the cause of the condition. If you find that the condition occurred because your doctor failed to provide proper care during your pregnancy, you can hold the doctor or facility responsible with a medical malpractice case.
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Types of Congenital Abnormalities
Congenital abnormalities are slightly different from birth injuries, in that they develop while the baby is still in the womb. The complications that can cause congenital abnormalities may determine the kind of birth defect an infant will develop. The following are examples of congenital abnormalities that a doctor may diagnose an infant with at birth:
- Trisomy 21 (Down syndrome) and other trisomies
- Various heart defects
- Cleft lip or cleft palate
- Spina bifida
- Defects of the stomach or intestines
- Diaphragmatic hernia
Some of these birth defects are preventable, while others are not. Once you have a diagnosis, you can determine the cause of your child’s genital condition and whether or not you have a medical malpractice case.
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Getting a Diagnosis for Your Child’s Condition
Some congenital abnormalities are diagnosable while the child is still in utero. To catch and identify a congenital abnormality, doctors may utilize prenatal screenings and diagnostic tests. This can include performing high-resolution ultrasounds or testing the amniotic fluid. Unfortunately, not all birth defects are detectable before birth. Some, like heart defects, may not become apparent until weeks or months later.
While not all birth defects are preventable, early diagnosis can sometimes allow your doctor to take steps to correct the condition. For example, the preferred treatment option for spina bifida is having the infant begin treatment or undergo surgery for the condition before birth. This also gives parents the opportunity to plan for their child’s delivery or make difficult decisions about the pregnancy.
Looking out and testing for congenital abnormalities is part of a doctor’s duty of care for pregnant patients. If your doctor failed to spot and treat a preventable birth defect in your child, you may have grounds for a medical malpractice case.
Congenital Abnormalities and Birth Injury Lawsuits
If your child was born with a preventable congenital condition because of medical negligence, your family has a right to take action against the doctor, clinic, hospital, or practice. You may be able to recover compensation for the financial expenses and emotional damages your child and your family endured.
It can help to work closely with a lawyer who represents the families of babies who suffered birth defects or injuries. Since each state outlines its own laws for medical malpractice and personal injury cases, you will want to work with a lawyer who serves your area. Your location—or the location where the malpractice occurred—could determine a number of facts in your case, including:
- What you need to prove that you have a valid medical malpractice case.
- The process you navigate to try to reach a settlement before going to court.
- How long you have to seek an award in civil court.
- The amount you can recover.
For example, most states require you to have testimony from a medical expert who agrees that your child was the victim of medical malpractice. A birth defect lawyer can help you find such an expert and build your case for compensation.
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Speak with a Member of Our Team About Your Case
If a doctor caused or failed to diagnose your child’s congenital abnormalities, you may have a valid medical malpractice case against that doctor or the medical facility where they work. To learn more, reach out to Birth Injury Lawyers Group to get help today.
We can help you understand the merits of your case and the steps necessary to prove malpractice. You can receive a free case review just by calling our office at (800) 222-9529.