Birth Defect vs. Birth Injury
The terms birth injury and birth defect are often used interchangeably because they have the same result – a baby that has a life-altering medical condition. These terms represent two completely different situations.
It is important to understand their usage and how they will influence your right to bring litigation:
- A birth defect is a medical issue that has resulted from your child’s DNA or an outside factor during the pregnancy. Outside factors would include prescription drugs, pesticides, industrial chemicals, or lead poisoning.
- A birth injury is a medical issue that resulted from actions taken during the birthing process. Factors that could contribute to birth injuries include using forceps in delivery, failure to perform an emergency c-section, or pulling or twisting of the fetus during delivery.
A birth defect could lead to litigation if it is related to an improper prescription, on the job chemical exposure, or the defect was caused by someone else’s negligence. A birth injury could lead to a lawsuit if the doctor, nurse, or other hospital was negligent, and this failure of duty caused the injury. In this situation, a medical malpractice claim would be justified.
It is very important to contact a lawyer as soon as possible to discuss the issues as medical malpractice claims in Texas are severely difficult claims and time-sensitive.
Every 4.5 minutes, a baby in the United States is born with a birth defect. The CDC estimates that 1 in 33 babies born in the United States have a birth defect.
Birth defects are also the leading cause of infant deaths, with over 20% of infant mortality leading back to a birth defect.
Those are staggering figures.
Common Birth Defects
A birth defect can be found before birth, at birth, or any time after birth. Most birth defects are found within the first year of life. Birth defects can be mild to severe and they can affect the eyes, heart, face, stomach, bones, or be related to chromosomes.
Common birth defects include:
- Heart defects
- Cleft lip
- Visual impairment or blindness
- Hearing impairment
- Facial malformations
- Heart defects
- Missing or deformed organs
- Endocrine disruption
- Neurological disorders
- Shortened or missing limbs
- Skeletal and limb abnormalities
- Cognitive impairment
- Developmental Delays
- Mental retardation
Causes Birth Defects
The causes for birth defects can be difficult to pinpoint, as they can come from a variety of sources. Common causes genetics and DNA, a mother’s behavior, and or unknown elements in the mother’s environment.
We do have data on many common causes of defects. Some of these are within the mother’s control, but many are outside of her control.
The most common causes of defects include:
- Within a mother’s control:
- Alcohol usage
- Street drugs
- Smoking cigarettes
- Uncontrolled diabetes
- Outside a mother’s control:
- Wrongly prescribed drugs
- Workplace chemical exposure
- Lead exposure
- Exposure to pesticides
- Contaminated drinking water
Once you realize your child has a birth defect, it is natural to be overwhelmed and confused. Don’t let that feeling of confusion, stop you from seeking the help you need.
If a parent believes a birth defect has results from elements outside their control, they should seek legal assistance to determine if their claim has merit. I regularly work with parents and provide a free initital consultation to review the case details and provide expert feedback on litigation options.
A newborn baby can sustain a birth injury when a problem occurs while the mother is in labor or active delivery. This can be the result of either medical negligence or an unavoidable complication.
Statistics show that 5 out of every 1,000 infants born in the United States experience some form of physical or mental trauma. This can include fetal distress (hypoxia), cerebral palsy, Erb’s palsy, brachial palsy, or extreme jaundice, just to name a few. Birth injuries can also cause distress on the newborn’s vital organs and skeletal structure.
Common Birth Injuries
Birth injuries that can result from improper medical care before, during, or shortly after childbirth. These are preventable medical issues that can be avoided if proper medical care is provided.
Common birth injuries include:
- Bleeding in the brain and head
- Brain damage
- Brain swelling
- Facial nerve injury
- Asymmetrical facial movements
- Facial paralysis
- Skull fractures
- Bone fractures
- Depressions or indentations in the head
- Spinal cord injuries
- Erb’s Palsy
- Cerebral palsy
Birth Injury Causes
There are many reasons why your child may have been injured at birth. Improper operation medical delivery devices, physician error, or medication mistakes can cause birth injuries.
Common causes of injuries at birth include:
- Detached placenta
- Miscalculating the size of the fetus
- Inadequate pelvis space to support a vaginal delivery
- Prolonged labor
- Failure to perform an emergency c-section
- Pulling the baby during delivery
- Twisting the baby during delivery
- Rh incompatibility
- Lack of oxygen upon delivery
- Deliveries using forceps or vacuum extraction
- Failure to detect or monitor distress or fetal heartbeat
- Incorrect medication or dosage to the mother
- Infections in the mother
Proving Medical Malpractice
Once you realize birth injury has occurred, it is natural to be upset, angry, or just plain overwhelmed and confused. Don’t let that feeling of confusion, stop you from seeking the help you need.
Medical negligence is one of the primary reasons for birth injuries. Even the best doctors make mistakes.
If you believe you have a birth injury claim, it is important for you to speak to an experienced medical malpractice attorney.
Your attorney will work you to prove:
- The medical provider was negligent.
- This negligence led to the birth injury.
- There are financial damages to recover.
If you believe that your baby or child has suffered a birth defect or injury due to the negligence of a hospital or physician, please call my law firm for a free initial consultation.
Free Initial Consultation and No Out-of-Pocket Costs*
If you are injured and believe you have been a victim of someone else’s negligence, call me at 281-929-0110 for a free initial consultation. Or if it is an emergency, please feel free to text me at 832-797-7600.
*As your personal injury lawyer, I will only receive a fee if we recover a settlement or jury verdict for you. In other words, you don’t pay any legal fees unless I make a financial recovery for you!
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for All Types of Personal Injuries
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