The Difference Between Birth Injury and Birth Defects

Every future parent, upon learning that he or she will have a baby, hopes that his or her child will be born healthy and whole. Unfortunately, sometimes, babies are born with a birth injury or a birth defect. While many people may use these terms interchangeably, there is actually a significant difference between the causes of birth injuries and birth defects.

Birth Injuries are Often Preventable

Birth injuries are health problems and conditions which may result from complications during pregnancy or the birthing process. Unlike birth defects, birth injuries are far more likely to be preventable, and often occur due to the improper actions or negligence of medical professionals.

Some common causes of birth injuries include:

  • Failure to properly treat complications during pregnancy, during birth, or shortly after birth
  • Failure to perform a caesarean when required
  • Failure to recognize and treat symptoms of fetal distress
  • Improper birthing procedures, such as handling the baby too roughly during the birthing process
  • Improper usage of birthing tools or machinery
  • Administration of incorrect medication before, during, or after birth
  • Administration of incorrect medication dosages before, during, or after birth

Birth Injury Compensation

As can be seen from the examples above, birth injuries often result from someone else’s actions or inactions before, during, or after birth. This point is significant because, while both birth injuries and birth defects may result in significant hardship for the baby and your family, birth injuries are largely preventable. This means that in cases of birth injury the responsible party may be found liable to help the injured child and his or her family cope with the resulting financial hardships.

Most states allow victims of birth injury (which are due to someone else’s negligence) to seek damages against the responsible party, damages which the family will need to help the affected child live as close to a normal life as possible.

For more information on birth injury claims, visit this page.

Birth Defects are Often Not Preventable

Unlike birth injuries, birth defects are not usually the result of someone else’s negligence. However, there are some exceptions, such as when a pharmaceutical company fails to warn pregnant mothers from using a drug and that drug causes a birth defect. With that exception, most birth defects are considered unavoidable, and many result from genetically inheritable conditions or diseases and disorders which affect a baby’s DNA.

Examples of birth defects include:

  • Cleft palate
  • Spina bifida
  • Certain heart defects
  • Down syndrome

If you believe that your baby’s birth injury or birth defect may be the result of someone’s negligence, please contact one of our attorneys today.