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Birth Injury vs. Birth Defect: What's the Difference?

Birth Injury vs. Birth Defect: What’s the Difference?

The anticipation leading up to a birth can be an exciting time. All most parents hope for is that their child is born healthy and without any complications. For many, this comes to fruition, but in some cases, the joy of welcoming a newborn baby is eclipsed by birth injuries and birth defects. Although some might try to use these two terms interchangeably, they actually have vastly different meanings and, as such, can impact whether or not a medical malpractice case can be brought to court.

What is a Birth Defect?

Birth defects are health problems that generally arise due to a child’s DNA. In some cases, it is possible for outside factors, such as medication taken during the pregnancy, to result in a birth defect. More often than not, however, defects like Down Syndrome, cleft palate, or heart murmur all stem from the DNA’s structure. Birth defects affect nearly one in every 33 babies and are among the leading causes of infant deaths.

Since birth defects are typically not preventable, medical malpractice is usually not at play and, as such, parents would likely not have a valid claim for which they could recover damages.

What is a Birth Injury?

Unlike birth defects, birth injuries are usually completely preventable and are often the result of medical negligence. Birth injuries can be caused by improper delivery, administering the wrong medication to a mother during pregnancy or labor, failing to monitor the baby, or failing to perform an emergency C-section. Birth injuries affect about 6 to 8 out of every 1,000 infants that are born in the United States, which translates to about 28,000 birth injuries a year.

Some of the most common birth injuries include broken bones, dislocations, shoulder dystocia, nerve damage, cerebral palsy, infections, blindness, Erb’s palsy, swelling, bruising, facial paralysis, and brain damage. Since birth injuries are largely preventable, it is likely that you would have a valid medical malpractice claim for which you could recover compensation. However, it is imperative that you act quickly and consult with an attorney as soon as possible.

Given that birth injuries can potentially result in lifelong disabilities, compensation is crucial in helping families cope with the financial impact of caring for a child who has sustained a birth injury.

Birth Injury Attorney in Nassau County

If you suspect your child suffered a birth injury caused by a negligent medical professional during the delivery process, you have a right to pursue fair and just compensation. At the Law Offices of Charles R. Gueli, our Nassau County birth injury attorney has been representing the wrongfully injured and their families for over 20 years and would be honored to fight on your behalf. Let us ensure the responsible parties are held accountable for their negligent actions.

Get started on your birth injury case today and contact our law office at (516) 628-6402 to request your free initial case evaluation. You should not have to pay for someone else’s mistakes.