The gastrointestinal tract, or GI tract, begins at the mouth and ends at the anus, and is responsible for absorbing nutrients and eliminating toxins, as well as hormone metabolism and energy production. In some cases during fetal development, the GI tract may fail to develop properly. This may result in gastrointestinal tract defects, which can have serious consequences for the child after birth. A birth defect can occur anywhere along the length of the digestive tract, affecting the esophagus, stomach, small intestine, large intestine, rectum, or anus, and can affect the development or position of an organ, often resulting in narrowing or obstruction. In other instances, the nerves to the intestines may fail to develop, or the internal or external muscles surrounding the abdominal cavity may weaken or develop holes. If your child was born with a gastrointestinal tract defect, and you believe a medical mistake to be the cause, contact a qualified birth defect attorney to discuss your legal options.
Children born with one or more defects of the gastrointestinal tract typically require surgery to repair the malformation. Unfortunately, even with treatment, some birth defects may cause long-term complications for affected children. For example, children suffering from esophageal atresia may continue to experience feeding difficulties, including problems with swallowing, food getting lodged in the esophagus instead of traveling to the stomach, and an increased vulnerability to heartburn and reflux. In children born with anal atresia, long-term difficulties may include bowel incontinence, constipation and intestinal blockage.
The proper function of the gastrointestinal tract is critical, as the structure is connected to every major system in the human body. For this reason, birth defects affecting the formation of the GI tract can have major consequences for affected children. If you or a loved one has suffered from a defect of the gastrointestinal tract, which you believe to be caused by a medical error, contact an experienced birth defect lawyer immediately. You may have grounds to file a medical malpractice lawsuit against the allegedly negligent doctor, Ob/Gyn or hospital charged with your care, in order to pursue financial compensation for your injuries, medical bills, and pain and suffering. You are not at fault for any injuries caused by the alleged negligence or poor training of a medical professional. With the help of a qualified birth defect lawyer, you can protect your legal rights and collect the compensation you deserve.