Birth Injury or Birth Defect: Which is it?

baby getting checked on by a doctor

Is your infant suffering from an injury that was caused by the negligence of a medical professional, such as a doctor or nurse? If the answer is yes, then it’s time for you to speak with the experienced birth injury attorneys at Fellerman & Ciarimboli. You should not have to deal with the emotional and financial burdens of caring for your injured infant alone.

Greg Fellerman, Ed Ciarimboli, and the rest of our Firm’s attorneys will help you determine, with the help of medical experts, whether your newborn child’s situation is a birth injury or birth defect. This is critical to determining how this plays out in the legal process.

Before you begin telling us this should be obvious from the get-go, to that we say not so fast. When an infant is born with a medical condition, it’s not truly clear to know whether the condition is a birth injury or a birth defect that developed in the mother’s womb. There are different factors that could lead to the same medical condition. Throughout this article, we will explain what both birth injuries and birth defects are while explaining your legal options after you have a clearer understanding of both terms.

Birth Injuries

A birth injury happens during the process of labor or just after delivery and is sometimes preventable. There are multiple kinds of birth injuries that can occur, such as nerve damage, broken bones, and brain damage. It is estimated that six to eight out of every 1,000 babies born in the United States suffers some type of birth injury. Other types of preventable birth injuries include:

  • Erb’s Palsy
  • Fetal Lacerations
  • Caput Succedaneum
  • Horner’s Syndrome
  • Oxygen Deprivation
  • Seizures
  • Fatality

Between birth injuries and birth defects, injuries are the cases that bring on the most attention; usually in the form of medical malpractice lawsuits. In these types of lawsuits, doctors, and other medical professionals are typically found at-fault for causing the birth injury. For example, they can improperly handle the infant during the labor process and cause damage to one of the baby’s bones or nerves.

Birth Defects

A birth defect develops before the baby is born, while in the mother’s womb. This medical condition can affect the development of any part of the baby’s body, but mostly affects the baby’s nervous system. The reasons for birth defects can be heredity or the environment of the womb itself, through toxins, medication, and other harmful substances being consumed by the mother.

While birth injuries are more commonly dealt with the help of the justice system, birth defects can be too. If a third party caused damage to your baby while he or she was inside the womb, you may be entitled to compensation and damages. An example of a third party causing damage to your baby can include drug manufacturers not providing insufficient warning of the health risks associated with their products.

What Can You Do?

If you believe your child’s birth injury was the result of medical malpractice or medical negligence in Pennsylvania, please contact Fellerman & Ciarimboli today to schedule a consultation with our team of experienced attorneys. Greg and Ed are two of Pennsylvania’s top lawyers and can help you uncover the truth about how and why your child’s birth injury occurred.

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