Defects of the Gastrointestinal Tract - Consumer Justice Foundation

Defects of the Gastrointestinal Tract

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GI tract defects like anal atresia and pyloric stenosis may result in medical malpractice lawsuits being filed by victims. If you have been the victim of a medical error, contact a birth defect attorney for help.

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.

Types of Gastrointestinal Tract Defects

  • Anal atresia – the lack of or incomplete development of the anus, causing it to be absent or smaller than normal, often with the opening located in the wrong place
  • Diaphragmatic hernia – a malformation in the layer of muscle separating the chest from the abdomen that allows some of the abdominal organs to protrude into the chest
  • Esophageal atresia – the incomplete development of the esophagus
  • Biliary atresia – a defect in which the bile-carrying ducts in the liver either didn’t develop or developed abnormally
  • Pyloric stenosis – a condition in which the muscular wall of the passage carrying food from the stomach to the small intestine is abnormally thick, causing the passage to be narrow and forcing food back out through the esophagus
  • Gastroschisis and omphalocele – defects in the abdominal wall which allow the intestines and other organs to protrude from the abdomen
  • Hirschsprung’s disease – a condition in which a section of the large intestine is missing the nerves that control its contractions, resulting in severe constipation and sometimes bowel obstruction

Gastrointestinal Tract Defect Treatment and Outlook

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.

Birth Defect Attorneys for GI Tract Injuries

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.

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