The difference between birth injuries and birth defects

On Behalf of | Jun 12, 2015 | Birth Injuries

A health complication with a newborn is never a desirable situation. These issues tend to fall into two categories: birth injuries and birth defects. Knowing the difference is important, especially when it comes to medical malpractice claims.

A birth defect is a situation in which something prior to or during the pregnancy led to the baby being harmed. The cause can be something natural, like a genetic mutation, or artificial, like a mother drinking while pregnant. About seven percent of all babies are born with birth defects.

Birth injuries, on the other hand, tend to happen during the birthing process. It can also include women being prescribed harmful drugs, such as opioids like oxycodone for pain, while pregnant. Only about five children out of 1,000 are injured during birth.

When a birth injury does happen, there is sometimes grounds for a medical malpractice lawsuit. The key is to determine that the doctor’s or pharmaceutical company’s negligence caused harm. Not all injuries are avoidable. For instance, a case involving a baby who loses oxygen during birth due to shoulder dystocia may go either way. If the doctor knew that the baby may get stuck during birth due to its size and did not offer alternatives, he may be at fault. But if the shoulder dystocia was unexpected, he may not be.

If your baby was born with either a birth injury or defect in South Carolina, an attorney may be able to help. They can go over the facts of your case and advise you on a course of action.


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