Structural, Developmental and Metabolic Birth Defects - Consumer Justice Foundation

Structural, Developmental and Metabolic Birth Defects

Written by Andrew Sarski on December 12, 2011
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Structural, Developmental and Metabolic Birth Defects

Victims of developmental, structural or metabolic birth defects allegedly resulting from medical mistakes may be entitled to compensation through a medical malpractice lawsuit. Contact an experienced birth defect attorney today.

Birth defects are classified as functional, structural or metabolic malformations present at birth which lead to physical or mental disability, and sometimes even death in children. There are more than 4,000 different types of known birth defects, varying from minor and reversible malformations to those that may cause lifelong disability or fatality. Many birth defects are caused by environmental factors, including the use of certain pharmaceutical drugs during pregnancy, while others may result from negligent or reckless medical care during pregnancy, including improper delivery technique or the mishandling of an instrument. Regardless of the cause of birth defects, these malformations are devastating and are the leading cause of infant death within the first year of life. If your child was born with a structural, developmental or metabolic birth defect, which you believe to have been caused by a medical mistake, your child may be entitled to lifetime care. Contact an experienced birth defect attorney today to discuss your legal options.

Structural Birth Defects

A structural birth defect describes a malformation in which a specific body part is malformed or absent altogether. The most common severe structural birth defects are heart defects, which affect as many as one in 100 newborns. Among these structural heart defects are malformations like patent ductus arteriosus, atrial and ventricular septal defects, and aortic or pulmonary valve stenosis, among others. Another type of major structural defect is a neural tube birth defect, which occurs when a child’s neural tube fails to close completely during the early stages of pregnancy. The neural tube is the precursor to a child’s central nervous system, and any defect involving this structure can severely affect the development and function of a child’s brain and spinal cord. Gastrointestinal birth defects are another type of structural birth defect, resulting in the abnormal development of any gastrointestinal organs, including the stomach, esophagus, small and large intestine, anus and rectum.

Developmental Birth Defects

Developmental birth defects, also known as functional defects, occur when there is a problem with how a body part or body system functions. Developmental birth defects may cause brain or nervous system problems that can lead to mental retardation, learning disabilities, difficulties in speech and language development, and behavioral disorders. Common types of developmental birth defects include cerebral palsy, Down syndrome, autism and muscular dystrophy.

Metabolic Birth Defects

Metabolic birth defects differ from developmental and structural malformations in that they involve inherent abnormalities of the body’s chemistry. Metabolic defects occur in approximately one in every 3,500 births, and can affect the function of a body process or chemical reaction. For example, a metabolic birth defect may prevent the body from properly expelling harmful chemicals or waste materials. Metabolic birth defects are dangerous because, while they may not cause any noticeable physical abnormalities in a child, they can be extremely harmful and possibly even fatal. Common examples of metabolic birth defects are congenital hypothyroidism and phenylketonuira (PKU).

An Experienced Birth Defect Attorney Can Help

Approximately 150,000 babies are born with birth defects each year in the United States alone, many of which lead to long-term disability among children, and sometimes even fatality. If you or a loved one has suffered from a major structural, metabolic or developmental birth defect, which you believe to be the result of a medical error, contact a qualified birth defect attorney today. You may be entitled to financial compensation for your injuries, medical bills, and pain and suffering, which you can collect by filing a medical malpractice lawsuit against the allegedly negligent doctor, Ob/Gyn or hospital charged with your care. You are not at fault for any injuries sustained as a result of the potential negligence or poor training of a healthcare provider. With the legal guidance of an experienced birth defect lawyer, you can protect your rights and collect the compensation you deserve.

Posted Under: Birth Defects
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