Prospective parents in Arizona might be surprised to learn that congenital heart defects, or structural problems in the heart, occur in more than 32,000 infants every year and are the primary cause of defect-related deaths. Affecting the different areas of the heart and how the heart functions, some defects include an Ebstein's anomaly, a tricuspid valve atresia, pulmonary valve stenosis and an aortic valve stenosis.
Congenital heart defects may be the result of genetic or environmental factors. One genetic factor could be the occurrence of other birth defects, such as Turner or Down syndrome. Others include mutations and hereditary malformations. Some environmental factors that may cause congenital heart defects are maternal medications, smoking, alcohol and chronic illnesses such as vitamin B deficiency and diabetes. Babies whose mothers contract viral infections, such as rubella, during pregnancy are also at a higher risk of suffering congenital heart defects.
Sometimes a congenital heart defect can be detected before birth through an echocardiography. While some heart defects are treatable with medications before birth, others might require surgery or the insertion of special devices such as pacemakers or artificial valves. This is because congenital heart defects can cause the flow of blood to slow, go to the wrong place, go in the wrong direction or stop altogether.
While there are uncontrollable factors that cause birth injuries in babies, sometimes the injuries are the result of negligence on the part of physicians, nursing staff or medical facilities. Parents who believe that their children have suffered birth injuries because of negligence might consider filing a lawsuit. In such an instance, it may be advisable for them to consult with an attorney who has experience in medical malpractice actions.
Source: American Pregnancy Association , "birth defects & Disorders", December 22, 2014