Hand deformations, also called hand deformities, occur when any portion of the hand fails to develop properly in utero, including the fingers and thumbs. During normal fetal development, a child’s limbs form between the third to eighth week of gestation. After six weeks, the baby’s fingers and toes have already formed, unless something has interrupted this critical process. According to researchers, women who take certain pharmaceutical drugs during pregnancy may have an increased risk of giving birth to children with serious birth defects, including hand deformations. Unfortunately, most birth defects occur during the first trimester of pregnancy, when a baby’s structures are developing and the child is most vulnerable to devastating injury. If you took a medication while pregnant and your child was born with a major birth defect, contact an experienced birth defect attorney today.
Hand deformations and limb defects are typically classified as overgrowth (larger than normal), undergrowth (smaller than normal), complete or partial absence, failure to separate, duplication and constriction band syndrome (a constricting band of tissue forms around the limb or hand, cutting off tissue growth and blood flow). More specifically, the most common types of hand deformations include:
Because of the varied nature of different hand deformations, there is no single treatment for birth defects of the hand. Surgery is the most common form of hand birth defect treatment, during which a surgeon will attempt to restore the appearance and function of the affected finger or hand. Some of the most popular treatments for hand deformations include skin grafts, skin flap procedures, and nerve and tendon repairs. During surgery for syndactyly, for example, the surgeon will separate the fused fingers and bones, and used skin grafting to repair the areas that were fused together.
Although hand deformations are not life-threatening birth defects, they can significantly alter a child’s quality of life, sometimes preventing him from performing simple tasks and participating in certain activities throughout childhood. If you or a loved one was born with a hand deformation, which you believe to be the result of pharmaceutical drug use in pregnancy, consult a birth defect attorney for legal guidance. You may be entitled to financial compensation for your injuries, medical bills, and pain and suffering, which you can pursue by filing a medical malpractice lawsuit against the doctor or hospital responsible for your care. Unfortunately, poorly trained, distracted or simply negligent medical professionals can put patients at risk of serious side effects, or put their patients’ unborn children at risk of life-threatening birth defects. With the help of a knowledgeable birth defect lawyer, you can protect your legal rights and seek the financial compensation you deserve.