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Birth Defects: Get the Facts

How common are birth defects?
Birth defects are fairly common in the United States. On average, 1 in 33 babies are born with some form of birth defect—leading to approximately 120,000 cases per year. Because birth defects are common, it is easy to find support to help you care for your child in spite of any/all defects.

How do I tell if my child has a birth defect?
Birth defects can occur anywhere on a child's body and may affect how they look or function. Some defects can be found at or before birth; others may take longer to become evident. The scope of defects ranges from cleft lip to heart problems.

In general, most defects are discovered within a year of a child's birth. Certain tests, including hearing tests and x-rays, can help you discover less obvious defects before they detriment your child's health.

What causes birth defects?
Birth defects are caused by a number of factors. Many are caused by genetic information, which is received from parents. Others are influenced by a mother's age, or by the choices she makes during pregnancy.

While there is still much that we do not understand about birth defects, we do know that many of them are less likely to occur if you eliminate high-risk factors. You can play a vital role in protecting your child's health and future.

Are birth defects preventable?
Even though some defects cannot be prevented, many are less likely to occur if you maintain a healthy lifestyle before and during your pregnancy.

Practical means of protecting your child include:

  • Taking folic acid and other vitamins
  • Avoiding smoking, alcohol, and drugs
  • Taking caution to avoid an infection
  • Discussing your medical prescriptions with a doctor
  • Keeping control of obesity, diabetes, and other health factors

You may be able to prevent or prepare for certain defects if you know that members of your family are especially at risk for them. Nothing can guarantee whether or not your child will be affected by a birth defect—however, some causes may be entirely preventable. If a physician fails to provide proper care during pregnancy or birth, they may cause or aggravate unfavorable conditions for your child. Defects caused by medical negligence should not go without justice.

Contact Our Firm

If your child has been adversely affected by medical malpractice, contact Goldstein & Hayes, P.C. for top-quality legal counsel. Our Georgia birth injury attorneys have been rated AV Preeminent® by Martindale-Hubbell® for superior service provided in 50+ years of combined experience. We have handled a broad range of cases, and can help you seek the compensation you deserve.

Call our office today to schedule a free consultation.