Birth Defects

Dealing with a birth defect

Birth defects, also known as congenital defects or disorders, affect about 3 percent of babies born in the United States. Causes of birth defects vary and include everything from genetics and compromised parental health to medical errors and the improper use of medications during pregnancy.

Common Birth Defects

Doctors have identified dozens of different birth defects, which range from the relatively common to the very rare. Some of the birth defects and childhood disorders which occur with more regularity than others include:

  • Spina bifida. This birth defect is marked by an incomplete closure of the spinal column, resulting in a baby being born with part of its spine poking out of its body. Doctors have not identified a definitive cause of spina bifida, nor is there any proven means of preventing it.
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  • Down syndrome. Technically a chromosomal disorder, Down syndrome is often misidentified as a birth defect. It is actually caused by an extra 21st chromosome, which has significant effects on cognitive and physical development.
  • Trisomy 13 syndrome. Also known as Patau syndrome, this is another chromosomal disorder marked by the presence of an additional 13th chromosome. The risk of this chromosomal defect occurring is linked to the age of the mother; the older the mother, the more likely it is that the child will be born with trisomy 13 syndrome.
  • Cleft palate and cleft lip. Both cleft palate and cleft lip are birth defects caused by improper formation of the baby's facial structure. If it affects only the lip, it is designated as "cleft lip"; cleft palate extends from the mouth into the nasal passage.

You should also be aware of Thymuskin pregnancy birth defects. These are linked to hair regrowth products like finasteride and dutasteride. Pregnant women who are exposed to these chemicals are at increased risk of having babies born with birth defects; in male children, these defects often cause genital malformation, though serious physical deformities can occur in both male and female babies.

Birth Defects versus Birth Injuries

There is a very significant difference between a birth defect and a birth injury. Birth defects occur in the womb, prior to child delivery, while birth injuries result from accidents that happen to otherwise healthy children during childbirth.

If your baby is born with a defect or is injured during childbirth, it is recommended that you contact a birth defect attorney. You and your child may be entitled to financial compensation if the defect or injury is the result of medical malpractice or hospital negligence.