Birth Defect Types: Structural and Metabolic Defects

A variety of birth defect types exist that can afflict infants before, during or immediately after birth. These birth defects can be broadly grouped into three different categories: structural, metabolic, and functional birth defects.

Birth defect types include:

Structural and Metabolic Defects

Structural and metabolic birth defects are two types of defects that encompass situations where a body part doesn’t form properly, doesn’t form at all, or where the metabolic processes that take place in the body do not work right.

Common examples of structural birth defect types include cleft lip or palate, heart defects, spina bifida and clubfoot. Heart defects are among the most common structural birth defects and as many as one out of every 150 babies in the US is born with a heart defect. Examples of potential birth defect types affecting the heart include septal defects (a hole in the septum), Coarctation of the aorta (an aorta that is too narrow to let blood flow) and transposition of the arteries, which occurs when the two arteries leaving the heart develop in reverse positions.

Common metabolic disorders include hypothyroidism, where the baby’s thyroid does not produce enough hormones; phenylketonuria, which is a disorder where the body cannot properly process certain proteins; and Tay Sachs disease which affects the nervous system and is fatal.

Functional Birth Defect Types

Functional birth defect types describe situations where some body part or system doesn’t work correctly. Examples of functional defects include autism and down syndrome as well as learning disabilities, speech problems, movement issues or behavioral disorders.

Causes of Birth Defects

Each of the different birth defect types has a variety of potential causes. In some instances, the specific cause of a birth defect is not clear or has not been identified. In other instances, the cause of a birth defect is clear, or even preventable.

While it is not always possible to pinpoint exactly why a birth defect occurs, some common factors that can lead to problems for infants include congenital infections (infections the mother develops during pregnancy), environmental causes, and multifactorial birth defects (those caused by many different factors).

Getting Legal Help for Birth Defects

While some birth defects simply happen, others are caused or exacerbated by medical negligence or defective drugs and medical products. If you or a loved one has been affected by a birth defect resulting from a careless doctor or a dangerous product, contact one of Chaffin Luhana LLP’s experienced birth defect attorneys at 1-888-480-1123 immediately for a free and confidential case review today.

You may be entitled to compensation, and the lawyers at Chaffin Luhana can help