What is the difference between a birth injury and a birth defect?
A birth defect is usually a condition that your child would have been born with because of their DNA or a medical predisposition to a condition. In some cases, a birth defect may be caused by exposure to certain birth control, narcotic or anti-depressant medications during the gestation period. Examples of birth defects include limb abnormalities, cleft palate and spina bifida.
A birth injury is damage that an infant suffers just before, during or just after delivery. The most common birth injuries are Brachial Plexus Palsy (Erb’s Palsy), broken bones, cephalohematoma, caput succedaneum, perinatal asphyxia, intracranial hemorrhage, subconjunctival hemorrhage, facial paralysis, spinal cord injuries, and cerebral palsy.
Was my child’s birth injury preventable?
About 50% of birth injuries are preventable with proper identification and planning for risk factors. According to the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, about 30% of all birth injuries are caused by communication errors between medical staff regarding patient medical history and current health status. Other types of negligence and medical errors that lead to preventable birth injuries are failure to diagnose fetal/and or maternal distress, improper use of birth-assisting tools, medication administration errors, delayed cesarean sections and umbilical cord problems.
Can I file a lawsuit to recover damages for a birth injury?
A birth injury lawyer is best suited to make a determination about whether a birth injury lawsuit is appropriate for your claim. A birth injury lawsuit may be brought in cases where medical malpractice / negligence was the cause of a preventable birth injury. An injury that was unavoidable would not be the basis of a birth injury lawsuit.
How does a jury decide if the physician acted negligently?
Personal injury lawyers retain expert medical witnesses to testify if they believe your obstetrician’s actions followed standard medical practice or fell below the accepted standard of care. The jury will then weigh the evidence provided to them to decide if the doctor acted negligently.
How can I tell if my baby’s disability is a birth defect or a birth injury?
Doctors are required by law to tell parents of any disability or abnormality in the fetus before delivery. Because of this, one of the indications that you are dealing with a birth injury is whether or not you were expecting a healthy baby. On the other hand, failure to diagnose a health issue can lead to a birth injury that could have been prevented or minimized. If you are not sure whether your baby suffered a birth injury because of a preventable medical error, contact a birth injury lawyer for an assessment.
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