Established in 1999, the Florida Birth Defects Registry (FBDR) is charged with tracking congenital anomalies in Florida and assisting families with children with special needs access the services and resources that can help. Out of America’s 50 states, Florida is one of only 13 to have such a program.
Beyond being Florida’s best source for referrals to specialized practitioners and governmental programs, the FBDR offers researchers and the general public a way to gain perspective on the incidence of specific birth defects in Florida, as well as how the state matches up to the country as a whole.
Birth Defects: A Statistical Overview In Florida
Behind only California, New York and Texas, Florida is consistently home to the fourth highest amount of total births in America.
In 2013, 215,407 babies were born in Florida. But all across the country, birth rates are falling. While Florida’s total population has grown by more than 8% since 2007, 23,758 more newborns were delivered in Florida hospitals in 2007 that were born in 2013.
The latest data released by the FBDR covers the years from 1998 to 2007. In that time, there have been:
- around 70,000 babies born with major birth defects in Florida
- 2,135,000 live births overall
- 3.28% of all babies born in Florida have a major birth (around 3% of babies are born with a major birth defect in the US as a whole)
- One out of every 31 babies born in Florida has a birth defect
The most common congenital abnormalities in Florida are similar to those for the nation as a whole:
- Pyloric stenosis (an annual average of 540 babies in Florida)
- Down syndrome (an annual average of 280 babies in Florida)
- Cleft lip with and without cleft palate (an annual average of 181 babies in Florida)
- Coarctation of the aorta (an annual average of 125 babies in Florida)
- Tetralogy of Fallot (an annual average of 114 babies in Florida)
- Cleft palate without cleft lip (an annual average of 110 babies in Florida)
Pyloric stenosis is a birth defect that affects a baby’s digestive system. In babies with pyloric stenosis, a crucial valve between the stomach to the small intestine is too thick, preventing food’s normal path through digestion.
Coarctation of the aorta is a congenital heart defect. In babies with this condition, the heart’s largest blood vessel is constricted, forcing the organ to pump harder than normal in order to deliver oxygen to the rest of the body.
Tetralogy of Fallot is a set of four heart defects that often accompany one another. Babies with Tetralogy of Fallot are born with:
- Ventricular septal defect – a hole in a barrier that separates chambers of the heart
- Overriding aorta – an enlarged valve in the heart’s primary blood vessel
- Pulmonary stenosis – a narrow valve deep within the heart
- Right ventricular hypertrophy – abnormally thick walls in the heart’s right ventricle, which pumps blood to the lungs
For some reason, Tetralogy of Fallot is more common in Florida. While one out of every 2,518 American babies is born with the condition, one out of 1,876 are born with it in Florida.
Orofacial Clefts In Florida
Between 1998 and 2007:
- 1,814 Florida babies were born with cleft lip (with or without cleft palate)
- 1,095 Florida babies were born with isolated cleft palate (without cleft lip)
- An average of 181 babies born with cleft lip every year
- An average of 110 babies born with isolated cleft palate every year
Compared to the nation’s total incidence of orofacial clefts, Florida’s is low:
In the US, one out of every 952 babies is born with cleft lip with or without cleft palate. In Florida, one out of every 1,176 is. One out of every 1,562 American babies is born with an isolated cleft palate. One out of every 1,961 babies in Florida is born with an ICP.
Offering Help To Families In Florida
The Florida Birth Defects Registry operates several initiatives designed to reduce the risk of birth defects, as well as offering programs to help families with children who have special needs.
You can find more information on their website here.
Florida Zofran Birth Defect Lawsuits
Zofran.Monheit.com is sponsored by a national team of attorneys who have joined forces to investigate claims that the popular drug Zofran, which is often prescribed “off-label” to pregnant women as a morning sickness treatment, may have the potential to cause birth defects.
Zofran’s manufacturer has never sought the drug’s FDA approval for use during pregnancy, and has never investigated its effects on pregnant women in clinical trials. In 2012, the US Department of Justice (DOJ) claimed that Zofran’s producer marketed the drug directly to physicians as a “safe and effective” treatment for the nausea and vomiting common during the first trimester of pregnancy.
The manufacturer continues to deny those allegations. But several US families have filed lawsuits, claiming that Zofran’s manufacturer was aware of its alleged potential to increase the risk of birth defects. They claim that the company continued to market the drug as a safe treatment for morning sickness, despite allegedly receiving at least 200 reports of birth defects with suspected links to Zofran and four large research studies that have found an increased incidence of birth defects in babies exposed to the drug’s active ingredient during the first trimester.
Can Families In Florida File Zofran Birth Defect Lawsuits?
In response to these allegations, our team of attorneys has begun investigating claims of birth defects that families believe may have been caused by fetal exposure to Zofran. We are currently offering free consultations to families in the US, as well as parents in Canada.
Did you take Zofran as a treatment for nausea and vomiting during the first trimester of pregnancy and then deliver a baby with birth defects? You may be entitled to file a claim for compensation against the drug’s manufacturer.
While our attorneys are not licensed to practice in the State of Florida, our lawyers are admitted to practice in Delaware, where Zofran’s manufacturer has its headquarters. Depending on the unique circumstances of your own situation, we may recommend bringing a legal action against Zofran’s producer in Delaware, or we may be able to recommend local counsel in Florida to handle your case.
To learn more, schedule a free consultation by calling 1-877-620-8411 or filling out our online contact form.