Bringing a child into the world should be an amazing experience. However, the truth of the matter is, things can quickly take a turn for the worse. Birth injuries are, unfortunately, common and are often a result of medical malpractice. However, there is a difference between a birth injury and a birth defect. Knowing the difference between the two can grant understanding during an otherwise frightening situation.
What Is a Birth Injury?
A birth injury is sustained during the delivery process or shortly after birth. These injuries can happen for several reasons, a number of which include medical malpractice. Some medical malpractice errors that may result in a birth injury include:
- Failure to monitor mother and child properly
- Failure to respond to signs of fetal distress
- Failure to monitor fetal heart rate
- Failure to diagnose and treat infections or other medical conditions
- Improper use of birth tools, including forceps and vacuum extraction devices
- Negligent cesarean delivery
- Improper medication or dosage
Some birth injuries can heal completely as time passes. Others leave mild to severe side effects that persist or progress throughout the remainder of the child’s life. Birth injuries can include:
- Birth asphyxia
- Cerebral palsy
- Erb’s palsy
- Brachial plexus
- Brain injury
- Maternal death
What is a Birth Defect?
A birth defect occurs prior to labor, while the baby is still developing. These defects can be identified before, during, or after childbirth. Birth defects can occur for several reasons, including:
- Lifestyle choices
- Certain medications and chemicals
- Infections during pregnancy
There are different types of birth defects, ranging from structural defects to developmental defects. Some of the most common birth defects include:
- Heart defects
- Cleft lip or palate
- Spina bifida
- Down syndrome
- Sickle cell disease
- Cystic fibrosis
Birth injuries and birth defects are challenging realities that many parents face. If you and/or your child has experienced an injury that you feel as though may have been at the hands of medical negligence, contact Rob Levine & Associates, where a team of experienced attorneys will help you get the justice you deserve.