Most expectant couples are overjoyed with happiness and are hoping for a healthy baby. Unfortunately, for some couples, their child is born with a birth defect that could have been detected through adequate pre-natal testing. Common early detection tests can look for the following birth defects:
- Down syndrome;
- Chromosomal abnormalities;
- Sickle cell anemia;
- Abdominal wall defects;
- Spina bifida;
- Tay-Sachs disease; and
- Cystic fibrosis, among others.
Early detection can be determined through blood tests or through an amniocentesis. An amniocentesis involves a physician inserting a needle into the amniotic sac to take a sample of the amniotic fluid in order to test for genetic mutations. If a doctor fails to offer early detection screening or fails to inform an expectant couple that his or her child may be born with a birth defect, it may give rise to a claim of action. Here, a couple may bring a wrongful birth action in order to recover damages. In a wrongful birth action, a couple may claim that if they had known of the potential birth defect, they would have opted to terminate the pregnancy.
Certain birth defects can range in severity, but most require expensive long-term care. A healthcare professional is responsible for identifying risk factors that could potentially result in birth defects and must take the necessary steps to inform the expectant couple of these risks. A healthcare professional’s failure to do so could result in damages for the following:
- Current medical care;
- Future medical care expenses;
- Rehabilitation expenses;
- Lost wages; and
- Pain and suffering, among others.
While most physicians will take the necessary steps to test for possible birth defects, sometimes physicians fail to adequately inform the patient of certain risk factors. If you or someone you love has a child with a birth defect, you may be entitled to compensation. It is important to contact an experienced New Jersey medical malpractice attorney that may fight for the justice you and your family deserve. The attorneys at the Rinaldo Law Group PLLC are skilled medical malpractice and personal injury lawyers, who will fight for the compensation you and your family are entitled to receive. Please contact us today at 908-352-2500 to schedule a free initial consultation.