The Difference Between a Birth Defect and a Birth Injury

The Difference Between a Birth Defect and a Birth Injury

After months of planning and excitement, the wait is over and you meet your beautiful new baby, generally your one hope for him or her is perfect health. Unfortunately, this is a wish that is not always fulfilled and it is usually a heartbreaking experience. There are typically two different types of problems that can impact a baby’s health – a birth defect and a birth injury – and it is important to understand what separates the two.

Birth Defects

Birth defects occur when a disease or some other medical condition develops while your child is still in the womb. Many causes, such as genetic predispositions, abnormalities, infections, environmental conditions, or even exposure to chemicals or drugs can result in the development of a birth defect. Some birth defects include:

  • Cleft palates
  • Congenital heart disease
  • Spina bifida
  • Neural tube defects
  • Brain damage
  • Cranial abnormalities
  • Limb abnormalities

Birth defects are often outside of a doctor’s control, though there are some cases in which proper monitoring, testing, and sound medical advice could have prevented a defect from occurring. Therefore, if your baby suffered a birth defect, this can still mean you can hold someone liable for it if it is determined that it was preventable. Occasionally a doctor may try to tell you that your new baby has a birth defect when in reality, it was a birth injury, as discussed next.

Birth Injuries

Birth injuries generally occur during labor and as a result of substandard medical care. These types of injuries tend to happen due to improper monitoring throughout the course of a woman’s labor and delivery or as a result of the use of excessive force when delivering a child. Some of the most common birth injuries sustained by newborn babies include:

  • Brachial Plexus injuries
  • Erb’s Palsy
  • Shoulder Dystocia
  • Klumpke’s Palsy
  • Subconjunctival hemorrhage
  • Fractures
  • Paralysis

Additionally, some injuries can be so severe that they become fatal.

Unlike birth defects, which are sometimes unavoidable, birth injuries are likely to be caused by a doctor or other medical professional involved in the birthing process. Errors such as delayed C-sections, improper movement of the child during delivery, improper monitoring of maternal blood pressure and failing to recognize and address complications are all mistakes that can result in serious trauma to the baby.

If you believe that your baby suffered an injury or a defect as a result of the negligence of a medical professional, it is important to that you seek skilled legal assistance as soon as possible to obtain the compensation you and your family deserve.

Birth Injury Attorney in Florida

At David C. Rash, P.A. in Florida, our medical malpractice attorneys are dedicated to representing those who have been injured by negligent healthcare professionals. If your baby was injured or developed a defect due to the substandard care provided by a medical professional, we will fight to hold him or her accountable and obtain fair and just compensation on your behalf.

Get started on your case today and contact our office at (954) 914-7116 to request your free initial case evaluation and learn more about what we can do for you.

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