Birth Defect and Birth Injury: What Is the Difference?

birth injuriesSometimes, people mistakenly use the terms “birth defect” and “birth injury” interchangeably, but there are significant differences between the two.

Birth defects are health problems that may have genetic causes. Examples include Down syndrome or cardiac defects. In cases in which the defect is linked to DNA, the defect is not preventable.

However, there are some birth defects that are preventable. Certain birth defects are linked to the prescription and use of medications or prescription drugs during pregnancy and the birth. These defects are possibly preventable. If your baby has suffered a birth defect linked to certain prescription medications that you took at some point during your pregnancy, you should speak to a medical malpractice lawyer in Indiana. They will help determine whether you are eligible for a medical malpractice claim. If the drug was one that should not have been prescribed and resulted in a birth defect, you might be eligible for a claim.

A birth injury, on the other hand, is a condition of the infant caused either due to problems arising during the labor, or the delivery. Again, in some cases, these injuries may be preventable. Examples of birth injuries can include bone and joint injury, oxygen deprivation, or hypoxia that leads to a number of complications like cerebral palsy, Erb’s palsy and other injuries.

Medical personnel involved in your delivery must be on constant watch for any concerns of fetal stress or unusual symptoms from the mother. A failure to maintain alertness and respond quickly can result in serious consequences for the child and the mother. Medical personnel might also be negligent if they fail to perform a C-section in time to prevent oxygen deprivation to the infant, or fail to use the right kind of tools, like forceps, during the delivery. Sometimes, birth injuries are the result of medication errors, or excessive medication during the delivery.

Everyone dreams of a happy, healthy child. The delivery process can be a frightening time for all involved. The birth of a baby is a natural process but the importance of diligence in the delivery room cannot be overstated. When a preventable defect or birth injury occurs, it is important that an attorney review the medical records as early as possible.

Filing a claim for damages when your baby has suffered a birth defect or birth injury is complicated. It isn’t easy to establish that the injury or defect was the result of medical negligence. It’s important to speak with an attorney, and establish whether you have valid grounds for a claim. In any case, it’s important to seek legal counsel from an Indiana medical malpractice attorney immediately. Remember, most birth defects or birth injuries have life-long consequences.

The attorneys at Montross Miller Muller Mendelson & Kennedy, LLP have helped many medical malpractice injury victims throughout the state of Indiana. They are experts in the process and have the experience to help you. Call us for a consultation today.