Personal Injury Blog

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

Posted By Shook & Stone || 8-Jan-2019

The main concern of every parent is simply for their newborn child to be born healthy. While many are lucky enough for this wish to come true, for others, birth defects and injuries are a painful reality. What are the differences between the two? Distinguishing what separates a birth injury from a birth defect will make a difference in whether you are able to file a medical malpractice claim or not. Continue reading to learn more and, if you suspect your baby sustained an injury that was caused by a negligent medical professional, seek skilled legal counsel as soon as possible.

Birth Defects

Birth defects develop while the baby is still in the womb and are commonly detected during pregnancy, though it is possible for them to remain undetectable until after delivery. Unlike birth injuries, birth defects are generally unavoidable and are caused by genetic abnormalities. In some cases, however, they might be caused by certain medications, drugs, or alcohol.

Birth defects can affect any part of an infant’s body or brain, though most severe cases focus on the nervous system. Some of the most common birth defects include Down syndrome, spina bifida, cleft palates, clubfoot, heart problems, and fetal alcohol syndrome. Though most defects are not preventable, there are some rare cases in which medical negligence might be to blame, so if you suspect substandard medical care lead to your baby’s injuries, contact an attorney today.

Birth Injuries

Birth injuries usually occur during the delivery process and it is estimated that, out of 4.3 million childbirths in the country, about 157,700 mothers and newborns sustain avoidable injuries. Birth injuries can range from minor to severe, lifelong disabilities. Oftentimes, these injuries occur when medical professionals fail to monitor the mother’s labor, fail to observe fetal signs of distress, or use excessive force during delivery.

Some of the most common birth injuries include:

  • Brachial plexus injuries
  • Cerebral palsy
  • Erb’s palsy
  • Shoulder dystocia
  • Klumpke’s palsy
  • Subconjunctival hemorrhage
  • Bone fractures
  • Paralysis

Unlike birth defects, which are often unavoidable, birth injuries are usually caused by a failure in medical care, such as delayed action, failure to notice complications, forceful delivery, or improper use of delivery assistance tools. Additionally, some birth injuries are not noticeable right away and might not even be noticed until a child is meant to hit certain developmental milestones in life, such as crawling, walking, or speaking. While not all birth injuries are permanent or life-threatening, it is still important for parents to be very observant of their children to ensure that, if they are suffering from a birth injury, that it is addressed right away.

Experienced Personal Injury Attorneys in Las Vegas

If you believe your child sustained a birth injury that was caused by a medical professional’s negligent or careless actions, you need to obtain skilled legal counsel to ensure you are able to secure fair and just compensation. Some birth injuries require lifelong medical care, which can become astronomically expensive. You and your family should not have to bear this burden. At Shook & Stone in Las Vegas, our experienced team of personal injury attorneys are dedicated to fighting on behalf of the wrongfully injured and will do what it takes to ensure the responsible party is held liable for your baby’s injuries.

You should not have to suffer in silence. Let our law firm be your voice. Backed by over 85 years of combined legal experience and superior knowledge, you can rest assured that your birth injury case will be in good hands with us.

Get started on your personal injury case today and reach out to our law firm at (802) 602-9456 to request your free initial case evaluation with one of our knowledgeable and compassionate attorneys. You can also reach us toll-free at (888) 662-2013.

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