What is the Difference Between a Birth Injury and a Birth Defect?

What is the Difference Between a Birth Injury and a Birth Defect?

Posted By Maher Law Firm || 17-Jan-2018

A newborn baby can face two different types of medical issues – a birth defect or a birth injury. While birth defects are often caused by genetic mutations and form when the baby is still in the womb, they can also be caused by toxins or medications that entered the baby through the mother, leading to complications that might have otherwise been prevented. Birth injuries occur at the time of the baby’s delivery or shortly after and are typically the result of negligent health care providers.

Regardless if your baby is suffering from a birth injury or a birth defect, it is possible that a third party caused the damage and, if this is the case, you might be entitled to compensation that can help you care for your child’s medical needs.

Is My Doctor Liable?

Doctors and other medical professionals have a duty of care to their patients, which means that they are expected and required to uphold an accepted standard of care. Failing to meet this standard is considered a breach of that duty, for which they can be held legally liable if injuries were sustained as a result.

For example, if your doctor improperly used forceps and caused damage to your baby’s cranial nerve, this would be a case of medical malpractice and you would be able to pursue fair compensation. Doctors might also cause a birth injury by failing to monitor a mother and child for any signs of distress, inflicting physical trauma during delivery, prescribing dangerous medications to the mother, or otherwise failing to protect the baby from preventable harm.

Some of the most common birth injuries include:

  • Facial paralysis
  • Bruising or forceps marks
  • Brachial palsy
  • Fractures
  • Subconjunctival hemorrhage
  • Spinal cord injuries
  • Cerebral palsy

When it comes to birth defects, these are not always avoidable, but a doctor should diligently monitor a mother and child for proper development during the pregnancy. If he or she fails to diagnose a serious infection, for example, this can cause damage to the baby’s brain. Your doctor should perform certain routine tests during prenatal visits to promptly address any potential complications and birth defects.

Some of the most common birth defects include:

  • Heart defects
  • Facial defects such as a cleft lip or palate
  • Spina bifida
  • Down syndrome
  • Sickle cell disease
  • Cystic fibrosis

Birth Injury Attorneys in Orlando

Bringing a child into this world is one of the most joyous occasions for a family, but when negligent health care is provided, this beautiful moment can turn tragic. At The Maher Law Firm, we have handled countless birth injuries and have successfully proven negligence of medical professionals and hospitals. No matter how complex your case might be, you can turn to us. Our established law firm has over 40 years of combined legal experience of providing the skilled and knowledgeable legal advocacy to those who are most in need. You should not have to go through this difficult time alone.

Contact our office today at (855) 338-0720 to schedule a free consultation.

Categories: Medical Malpractice
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