Newborn babies can suffer from either birth injuries or birth defects, both of which could have a drastic impact on the rest of their lives. It is important to distinguish between the two in order to know what has happened and why, as that may guide any potential legal action moving forward.
Fortunately, in most cases, the National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI) notes that malformations and birth defects are “easily distinguishable” from birth injuries. They do add that a clinical assessment may be necessary in order to tell the difference between the two. With proper research and examination of the issue, though, it should be possible for medical professionals to make an accurate assessment.
The NCBI also reports that birth injuries tend to come from “adverse events” that happen while the child is being born. In many cases, birth defects can be identified even before birth and have nothing to do with the birthing process. An injury, on the other hand, suggests that the child was healthy in the mother’s womb and only got injured due to this adverse event.
These events take many forms. Improper use of forceps, for instance, could cause physical trauma. Cutting off a child’s oxygen supply could lead to a brain injury. The force of extracting a child, when assisted by a doctor, could lead to bone fractures, bruising and lacerations. Each case is different.
The key, then, is to first identify whether or not your child is suffering from a birth defect or a birth injury. Once this has been done, you can start looking into all of your legal options.