If you suspect malpractice, consult a Cleveland birth defect attorney who can review your case to determine if you have a legitimate claim. While the majority of congenital heart defects such as an atrial septal defect are not the result of malpractice, certain circumstances may indicate liability of a doctor. If it is determined that a doctor did not follow a reasonable standard of care, an attorney can assist in filing a claim to recover compensation for damages.
An atrial septal defect is a congenital heart condition that can occur while a baby is still developing during pregnancy. The condition is marked by a hole in the wall, also known as the septum, that divides the upper heart chambers. Large or multiple holes may cause serious complications down the line.
What causes an atrial septum defect?
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), approximately 1,966 babies are born with an atrial septum defect in the United States each year. The causes of congenital heart defects such as this are unknown in most cases, according to the CDC. Gene or chromosome changes may be a cause, while the following may be other risk factors of congenital heart defects:
- mother’s exposure to environmental factors;
- maternal diet; and
- maternal medication use.
If you were prescribed a medication that may be responsible for the defect, you may be able to file a claim to recover damages such as medical bills and other expenses.
How is an atrial septum defect detected?
Atrial septum defects are not always easily detected; in fact, some people may not even be diagnosed with this condition until reaching adulthood. However, depending on the location and size of the hole, some defects may be found even before the baby is born during prenatal tests such as an ultrasound.
Not all babies born with an atrial septum defect exhibits signs right away. However, some symptoms, such as frequent respiratory infections, shortness of breath, heart murmurs, skipped heart beats or palpitations, and stomach, leg, or feet swelling may be an indication of this health problem.
Atrial septum defects may be discovered when a heart murmur is detected. In such cases, a doctor may recommend further diagnostic testing such as an echocardiogram, electrocardiogram, X-ray, or MRI.
You have only a limited time during which you can file a claim for your child’s birth defect. If the condition was caused by medical malpractice, you have four years to file a claim in Ohio.
However, if you are filing a product liability claim against a pharmaceutical company, the deadline is reduced to only two years. Your lawyer can evaluate your claim to determine if liability exists with either party.
Contact an Attorney
If your baby sustains an atrial septal defect because of medical malpractice, birth defect attorneys can help your family file an injury claim in order to recover compensation for damages. The Becker Law Firm has helped a number of clients regain peace of mind and obtain justice for the responsible party’s negligence or careless actions. For a free evaluation of your medical malpractice claim, please call (440) 252-4399 today.