Colorado is one of only 14 American states and territories to track and monitor babies born with birth defects.

Begun in 1989, Colorado Responds to Children with Special Needs (CRCSN) seeks to maintain comprehensive records on specific types of congenital anomalies, as well as referring parents to state and local services and resources. With 27 years of data, CRCSN provides a wealth of information to anyone interested in researching birth defects, how often they happen and trends over time.

Birth Defects: A Statistical Overview of Colorado

In 2013, 65,007 babies were delivered in Colorado. According to publicly-available reports from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), that’s very close to the annual average. Since at least 1997, around 65,000 newborns have been delivered in Colorado hospitals every year.

Colorado’s birth defect rate is much higher than the US overall. In America, around one in every 33 babies is born with a major birth defect. In Colorado, about one in 20 are. That equals:

  • An estimated 3,250 babies every year
  • 5% of all babies born in Colorado

Unfortunately, Colorado Responds to Children with Special Needs has released much less information than most other state birth defect tracking programs.

Which Birth Defects Are Most Common In Colorado?

In 2010, the last year for which CRCSN has released data, the most common birth defects were:

  1. Down syndrome (143 babies)
  2. Cleft lip with and without palate (83 babies)
  3. Cleft palate without cleft lip (62 babies)
  4. Gastroschisis (31 babies)
  5. Atrioventricular septal defect (30 babies)
  6. Transposition of great arteries (26 babies)

Almost 62% more babies are born with Down syndrome in Colorado than in the US as a whole. More children are born with orofacial clefts in Colorado than in the 50 states combined, too, although the difference isn’t as pronounced:

  • In the US, around one out of every 955 babies is born with a cleft lip (with and without cleft palate). In Colorado, one out of every 829 are.
  • Around one out of every 1,565 babies are born with an isolated cleft palate (without cleft lip). In Colorado, about one out of every 1,112 are.

In 2009, 83 babies were born with cleft lip with and without cleft palate. In 2010, that number was unchanged.

Gastroschisis, a significant concern everywhere, is a congenital anomaly in which babies are born with incomplete abdominal walls. Beside their belly button is a hole, which can be large or small, and allows parts of organs to poke through. The CDC estimates that 1,871 babies are born with gastroschisis every year in America. If that number held true in 2010, Colorado’s cases of the condition would represent 1.6% of the US total.

Atrioventricular septal defects (ASD) involve a hole in the barriers that normally separate chambers of the heart. ASDs are just as common in Colorado as they are in America, affecting around one out of every 2,293 babies.

Transposition of the Great Arteries is another congenital heart defect. In this extremely serious condition, children are born with the heart’s two main arteries reversed in position. Fewer babies in Colorado are born with this rare anomaly than in the US population. While about one out of 2,114 American babies are born with transposed arteries, one out of 2,703 babies in Colorado are.

Help & Resources For Colorado Families

If your child was born with a birth defect, Colorado Responds to Children with Special Needs can help connect you with special services. In collaboration with local health agencies, Colorado’s Community Notification and Referral Program works to identify potentially beneficial programs that families may not be aware of.

You can contact CRCSN for more information by calling (303) 692-2700.

For help navigating the complex world of healthcare, parents can reach out to Family Voices Colorado.

If your child has unique needs, finding the right products and services can be extremely difficult. This is especially true in Colorado, a state with chronically underfunded public and private healthcare systems.

In the words of Family Voices,

“the care you might expect to be available to children often doesn’t exist or is too expensive or difficult for families to access.”

Family Voices works to empower families of children with special needs by providing individualized guidance on:

  • dealing with public and private health insurance
  • leveraging Medicaid for your child’s benefit
  • keeping adequate medical records
  • transitioning from pediatric to adult healthcare needs
  • life coaching

Contact Family Voices Colorado by visiting their website here.

Zofran Birth Defect Lawsuits In Colorado

Sponsored by a national coalition of experienced lawyers, was created to inform families of ongoing litigation surrounding the popular anti-nausea drug Zofran and its potential association with birth defects.

Our attorneys are currently investigating claims in the US and Canada, in which families believe that Zofran may have caused their children to be born with certain major congenital anomalies, including cleft palate and congenital heart defects.

While Zofran is not approved as a treatment for morning sickness, doctors in the US and Canada have prescribed the drug “off-label” to pregnant women to alleviate the symptoms of nausea and vomiting in pregnancy.

At least four research studies have now found an increased incidence of birth defects among babies born to women who were prescribed Zofran’s active ingredient, ondansetron. Seven American families have already filed personal injury lawsuits against Zofran’s manufacturer, alleging that the company has been aware of the drug’s possible link to adverse fetal outcomes for more than a decade. They claim that Zofran’s producer marketed the drug directly to physicians as a safe and effective treatment for morning sickness, despite having never studied its effects in pregnant women or their unborn babies.

Can Colorado Families File Zofran Lawsuits?

While our lawyers are not licensed to practice law in Colorado, we are admitted to practice in Delaware, the state in which Zofran’s manufacturer is headquartered.

If you took Zofran as a treatment for morning sickness in the first trimester of your pregnancy, and then delivered a child with birth defects, we may be able to bring a claim for compensation against the manufacturer of Zofran on your behalf in Delaware. We may also be able to recommend counsel based in Colorado who can handle your case.

If you have any questions, or would simply like to learn more, contact our attorneys today for a free consultation. Call 1-877-620-8411 or complete our contact form to speak with one of our experienced lawyers today.