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The Difference Between a Birth Defect and a Birth Injury

Most parents only want one thing for their newborn child and that is for him or her to be healthy. Unfortunately, this wish is not always possible, whether it be due to a birth injury or a birth defect. While both sound rather similar, there are actually some key differences between the two and it is these differences that can dictate the course of action you might be able to take.

What is a Birth Defect?

Birth defects occur while the baby is developing within the mother’s womb and generally take place within the first three months of pregnancy. Moreover, birth defects can come in all forms, affecting how the body looks, works, or both. For example, a cleft lip would be a visible birth defect that is easy for others to see, whereas a heart defect would require special testing. Some of the most common causes of birth defects include:

  • Genetics
  • Exposure to certain medications or chemicals
  • Infections during pregnancy
  • Not getting enough nutrients

That said, in most cases, the cause of birth defects is unknown. While it is possible for a medical professional to be responsible for a birth defect if mother and child were not given proper prenatal care, oftentimes, birth defects are out of the hands of healthcare providers.

What is a Birth Injury?

While birth defects are generally not preventable, birth injuries are usually completely avoidable and typically caused by medical negligence. In this context, negligence is defined as a failure to act in accordance with the standard of care. Below are some of the most common causes of birth injuries caused by medical negligence:

  • Miscalculation of the size of the fetus
  • Pre-mature or post-mature delivery caused by improper dating
  • Administration of improper medications during delivery
  • Failure to properly monitor the fetus
  • Failure to respond to fetal distress
  • Failure to perform a timely C-Section
  • Improper use of delivery assistance tools
  • Failure to give the newborn oxygen when needed

Some of the most common birth injuries include:

  • Brain injuries, such as cerebral palsy
  • Brachial plexus injuries, such as Erb’s palsy
  • Paralysis
  • Soft tissue injuries
  • Spinal cord damage
  • Clavicle fractures
  • Bleeding beneath the scalp or inside the skull
  • Bruising from forceps
  • Hypoxia

If you believe your infant sustained an injury as a result of medical negligence, it is imperative that you pursue legal action to obtain compensation. Many birth injuries can result in a lifetime of costs, which is a burden your family should not have to bear when someone else is at fault.

Birth Injury Attorneys in Orange County

At the Law Office of Marshall Silberberg, our team of birth injury attorneys is dedicated to fighting on behalf of the wrongfully injured and will do what is necessary to ensure you are compensated for the injuries your newborn child suffered. Our Orange County attorneys have the resources, experience, and knowledge to effectively represent you and to hold the responsible parties accountable for their negligent actions.

Get started on your case today and contact our law office at (949) 565-4281 to request your free initial case evaluation.