Veteran’s Administration (VA) recognizes certain health conditions in Vietnam veterans as connected to Agent Orange exposure. It even recognizes spina bifida (where the spine never fully closes) that affects children of Vietnam vets, which may be linked to paternal or maternal exposure to Agent Orange.
Others are linked to maternal service during the Vietnam War. The following are some of the birth defects affecting offspring of female vets who served in Vietnam:
- achondroplasia – form of short-limbed dwarfism;
- cleft lip – separation/split of the upper lip;
- cleft palate – opening/split in the roof of the mouth;
- congenital heart disease – defect of the heart;
- congenital talipes equinovarus – clubfoot;
- esophageal/intestinal atresia – digestive system disorder;
- Hallerman-Streiff syndrome – affects facial features, growth, vision, and more;
- hip dysplasia – misalignment of the bones of the hip joint;
- Hirschprung’s disease – affects the large intestine;
- hydrocephalus due to aqueductal stenosis – fluid collection in the brain caused by blockage in a cerebral aqueduct;
- hypospadias – urethra opening malformation;
- imperforate anus – blocked or missing anus;
- neural tube defects – defects affecting spine, spinal cord and/or brain;
- Poland syndrome – malformation of one side of the body that can affect the chest, fingers and hand;
- pyloric stenosis – narrow pylorus in lower stomach that causes forceful vomiting;
- syndactyly – webbed/conjoined fingers;
- tracheoesophageal fistula – connection of trachea and upper esophagus;
- undescended testicle – testicle doesn’t move into scrotum; and
- Williams syndrome – condition that may include learning disabilities, cardiovascular disease and developmental delays.
The VA currently recognizes the aforementioned list of birth defects only. Those who don’t qualify and are permanently disabled may be qualified to seek benefits through Social Security. Seek advice from an attorney at the Law Offices of Veterans Help Group to learn more about options if Agent Orange or military service during the Vietnam War is a suspected cause of a birth defect or other disability.