The Law Firm of Leisawitz Heller

The difference between a birth injury and a birth defect

The birth of the baby is supposed to be a joyous and welcomed time in a family's life. Families often look forward to the birth of a child for many months. When a child is born with an injury, the family can be devastated. Families may be so busy helping their child get well, that they do not look past the injury itself. However, it is important to understand what caused the child injuries in these situations. Families need to investigate whether the injuries are a result of a birth defect or a birth injury.

A birth injury is something caused by an error made during the child's birth. These errors are caused by some complication in the labor and delivery process. For example, the doctor may have failed to notice warning signs that something was going wrong and the baby was injured as a result. Or, the doctor improperly performed some birthing technique. These are injuries that could have been prevented had everyone done their job appropriately. According to some data, up to five babies out of every 1,000 born suffer a birth injury in the United States.

On the other hand, a birth defect is something that occurs while a woman is still pregnant. A birth defect can occur for a number of reasons including environmental factors, drug and alcohol use or genetic factors. In many cases, the cause of birth defects is unknown. However, in the United States, up to seven percent of babies will be born with some sort of birth defect.

There is often nothing that can be done to prevent the occurrence of a birth defect. However, birth injuries are often preventable. When a birth injury occurs, families in Pennsylvania should understand how to respond. They may be entitled to compensation to pay for the child injuries as the child grows older. Through medical malpractice lawsuit, children can get the compensation they need because of a doctor's negligence.

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