Birth injuries are serious medical problems that result from negligence committed by health care providers. When doctors, nurses, and others in the medical field fail to meet their duty of care to their patients, including newborns, they can be held liable for their victims’ losses. New York parents whose children suffered injuries and harm during the labor and delivery process understand the devastation and pain their families experience when birth injuries hurt their kids.
However, not every complication, injury, or illness suffered by a newborn at the time of delivery is attributable to negligence. Birth defects can result where no medical malpractice is committed. This informational post explains the differences between birth injuries and birth defects, and no part of this post should be read as legal advice.
Defining birth defects
Birth defects are medical issues present at the time of a child’s birth. They develop during a child’s growth in utero. They can be genetic, or they can be acquired through the maternal action, such as drinking alcohol or using drugs during pregnancy. Birth defects are not caused by the actions or inactions of medical care providers at the time of delivery. Not all birth defects may be apparent at birth, and many become known early in a child’s life.
Understanding birth injuries
Potentially actionable birth injuries are the result of wrongdoing, inaction, or negligence. For example, doctor who fails to monitor a baby during labor may miss signs of problems that may result in injury, disability, or death. The heart of a birth injury case is the breach of the medical practitioner’s duty of care. A baby may be injured during an emergency procedure that is both necessary and properly executed by a non-negligent doctor.
It is important that parents who believe their children suffered birth injuries speak with medical malpractice attorneys about their possible claims. Damages in a medical malpractice suit can help parents support their children as they live with the devastating outcomes of their birth injuries.