Can Birth Defects be Caused by Medical Negligence?

Can Birth Defects be Caused by Medical Negligence?

Posted By Maher Law Firm || 20-Nov-2018

Generally, birth defects are thought to be unavoidable while birth injuries are usually preventable and caused by medical negligence. Is it ever possible for an infant’s birth defect to be the result of a medical professional’s negligence, however? Given that parents spend millions in the United States caring for children with birth defects, not to mention the shorter life span some suffer from as a result of their condition, it is important to understand that defects are not always unpredictable or unavoidable.

Below is a list of the most common causes of birth defects, some of which are related to medical negligence:

  • Genetic defects: If genetics are the cause of your baby’s birth defect, this is generally not a matter of medical malpractice. However, in cases where a doctor fails to perform genetic screenings to rule out birth defects or fails to inform the parents of a positive genetic test, it is possible to file a medical malpractice claim, though it is quite rare.
  • Environmental defects: Environmental defects are not necessarily a case of medical negligence either, unless the overseeing physician fails to rule out whether an environmental risk is present. For example, if an expecting mother has a history of drug or alcohol abuse, she should be screened to ensure the unborn child does not have an environmental defect. Environmental defects can also be caused by infections. If the mother’s physician does not detect the infection and fails to treat it on time, the mother’s unborn baby could develop a birth defect, for which the doctor can be held liable in a medical malpractice lawsuit.
  • Unknown defects: More often than not, birth defects have unknown causes. In fact, according to the March of Dimes, it is estimated that 70% of defects do not have known causes.

Moreover, even in cases where medical negligence is responsible for a birth defect, the physician might not always be responsible for it. In some cases, a third-party might responsible for a baby’s birth defect. For example, if an infant’s defect is linked to a prescription medication he or she was exposed to during pregnancy, the party that manufactures the drug could be at fault for the resulting birth defects. If the physician prescribed the medication without informing the parents of the risks, however, he or she could still be held liable for the baby’s defects.

Some substances that are known to cause birth defects include:

  • Paxil
  • Lithium
  • Warfarin
  • Accutane
  • ACE inhibitors
  • Tetracycline

Experienced Medical Malpractice Attorneys in Orlando

If your baby sustained a birth defect and you believe it might be the result of medical negligence, it is imperative that you seek skilled legal assistance as soon as possible. At The Maher Law Firm in Orlando, our skilled medical malpractice attorneys are dedicated to fighting on behalf of the wrongfully injured and ensuring the responsible parties are held accountable for their actions.

Get started on your medical malpractice case today and reach out to our law firm at (855) 338-0720 to request a free initial case evaluation with one of our compassionate attorneys.

Categories: Medical Malpractice
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