About 40,000 infants born each year in the United States have congenital heart defects. Congenital heart conditions are a leading cause of infant illness and death associated with birth defects. Studies indicate that nearly one million adults in the United States are currently living with a congenital heart defect. Nearly 10% of congenital heart defects are not diagnosed until adulthood.
The cost of these heart problems is high. In one year, severe congenital heart defects accounted for about $511 million, or about 37%, of all hospital costs associated with congenital heart defects.
Any step in the diagnosis and treatment of congenital heart conditions, including both actions and inactions by medical professionals, can potentially result in adverse consequences and lead to litigation. Attorneys, physicians, hospitals, insurers, employers and others who may be involved in litigation concerning a congenital heart condition should be aware of the types of lawsuits and other liability issues that may arise in connection with the diagnosis or treatment of a congenital heart condition.