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What is the difference between birth defects and birth injuries?

Expecting mothers in Fort Lauderdale may want nothing more than to have a healthy baby. They may attend all prenatal appointments, eat the right foods, take their daily vitamins and avoid activities that could put their baby at harm. Unfortunately, despite their best efforts their baby may be born with a birth defect or birth injury. This post will discuss the differences between these two distressing outcomes.

How to birth injuries differ from birth defects?

Birth injuries differ from birth defects based on how the medical condition develops. Birth defects often develop while the child is still in the womb. The first trimester of a woman’s pregnancy is typically the time in which a birth defect will be formed. Certain factors increase the chance of a birth defects such as substance abuse, family medical history and infections.

On the other hand, birth injuries generally occur during the labor and delivery process. Head trauma and brain bleeds are common injuries that an infant can suffer during the childbirth process. Common causes of birth injuries include long labors resulting in delayed births, oxygen deprivation, the use of certain medications and viral or bacterial infections.

When is a birth injury caused by medical malpractice?

While some birth injuries are unavoidable, sometimes a birth injury is caused by an act of medical malpractice. Medical malpractice occurs when a doctor fails to meet the necessary standard of care, and this failure causes the mother or baby to suffer injuries during the mother’s pregnancy, the labor and delivery process or after the baby is born. Some forms of medical malpractice that could lead to birth injuries include delays in addressing dangerous situation, failure to recognize and diagnose harmful health conditions, failure to monitor the baby after it is born, misusing forceps or vacuum extractors and the use of unnecessary force during the labor and delivery process.

Learn more about medical malpractice

Birth injuries are tragic because they are often preventable. This post is for informative purposes only and does not contain legal advice. Our firm’s website on medical malpractice may be of interest to those who want to learn more about this subject.