January is National Birth Defects Prevention Month
One in every 33 babies will be born with a birth defect, leaving these structural changes to an infant’s body at birth accountable for 20 percent of all infant deaths according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Most common birth defects are largely unpreventable and include heart defects, cleft palates, spina bifida, down syndrome, cystic fibrosis and other genetically related health problems. In Michigan, in the years 2012 and 2013, there were 11,357 and 11,852 cases of birth defects reported for children under one year of age, respectively. The 2012-2013 average rate was about 1,025 cases per 10,000 resident live births. These are the most current birth defect statistics for the state provided by the Michigan Birth Defects Registry but medical experts are in agreement the rates have been on the incline since.
In some cases, improper or negligent prenatal care, undiagnosed maternal health conditions, untreated viral or bacterial infections during pregnancy, prescribing certain high-risk medications, and some preventable delivery injuries can contribute to the lifelong hardships, including infant death. Medical professionals play a powerful role in preventing birth defects by making mothers aware of effective ways to prevent, detect and treat issues related to their pregnancies and deliveries.
Birth Defects, Birth Traumas and Birth Injuries
Understanding the difference between a birth defect and a birth injury is an important piece of information when positioning the factors contributing to someone else’s medical negligence. For example, in Cerebral Palsy, Erb’s Palsy, shoulder dystocia, birth hypoxia and brain damage, failure to perform a timely C-section, and hydrocephalus, birth injuries are created because a significant injury to the infant was sustained during the birthing process likely due to one or more preventable factors such as:
- Adverse effects from drugs or surgery
- Failing to detect infections during pregnancy
- Failing to detect issues with the umbilical cord
- Failing to treat severe jaundice in the newborn
- Gross mismanagement of normal delivery procedure
- Improper use of delivery instruments, such as forceps
- Neglecting proper heart rate monitoring during delivery
- Not performing a medically advisable cesarean section
Just as relevant, when a health care provider identifies a child with a birth defect or birth injury early on, coupled with early intervention services, these actions typically improve the child’s quality of life and may even save them from a devastating, fatal injury.
Find Support For Your Child’s Birth Defect or Birth Injury
If you suspect your child developed a birth defect or other birth injuries such as Erb’s Palsy, brain damage, shoulder dystocia or hydrocephalus at the hands of your physician or another health care professional, you may be eligible to recover compensation for the damages suffered.
Lee Free and his Michigan birth injury lawyers can help your family. Just make a simple phone call to 1-800-LEE-FREE (1-800-533-3733) or go ahead and fill out the Free Case Evaluation form so we can answer any questions you have about Michigan medical malpractice law. We are the Michigan birth injury experts and with us, you will pay nothing until we win your case.