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What’s the Difference Between a Birth Defect and Birth Injury?

Published on August 21, 2015

Anticipating the birth of a child is a very exciting time, but it can also be nerve-racking for parents. You want to ensure the safety of your child, but a lot of things can go wrong. Many parents often worry about health complications that could arise with their newborn, like birth defects or birth injuries; however not many know the difference between a birth defect and birth injury. Knowing the difference can help families seek the best form of help as soon as possible to ensure a healthy recovery.

What is a birth defect?

A birth defect is a health problem that arises based on your child’s DNA. Examples of birth defects are Down Syndrome, a cleft palate, a heart murmur, or other health problems stemming from the structure of the child’s DNA. In some cases, however, birth defects are a cause of outside factors, such as medication taken during pregnancy. We’ve seen this with a lot in mothers who took the morning sickness medication. For example, zofran lawsuits are being filed because studies found startling information correlating Zofran with birth defects.

Birth defects affect about one in every 33 babies and are one of the leading causes of infant deaths, accounting for more than 20% of all infant deaths.

The most common types of birth defects include: Down Syndrome (affects 1 in 691), Cleft lip with or without cleft palate (1 in 940), atrioventricular septal defect (1 in 2,122), rectal and large intestinal atresia/stenosis (1 in 2,138), and gastroschisis (1 in 2,229).

What is a birth injury?

A birth injury is a health problem that a baby is born with that is completely preventable in a majority of cases. This includes improperly delivering a baby, administering the wrong medication to a mother during pregnancy or labor, failure to monitor the baby properly, failure to schedule or perform an emergency C-section.

Birth injuries affect 6 to 8 out of every 1,000 infants born in the United States. That means that approximately 28,000 people are born with a birth injury per year.

The most common types of birth injuries include: broken bones, dislocations, shoulder dystocia, nerve damage, cerebral palsy, infections, blindness, Erb’s palsy, bruising, swelling, or lacerations, facial paralysis, cephalohematoma, or pooled blood under the skull, brain damage caused by kernicterus.

What should I do if my child suffers from a preventable birth defect or birth injury?

Giving your child the best chance at a full and productive life after a birth injury or birth defect will often involve extensive medical treatment along with specialized care, therapy, and education to overcome the injury to the greatest extent possible, so knowing the difference between a birth defect and birth injury is important. In many cases, the best way to do this is with the help of an experienced Phoenix birth injury attorney who will work with you to recover monetary damages for your child.

Call a Phoenix Medical Malpractice lawyer at Knapp & Roberts for your complimentary case analysis and join in the fight for your child’s rights and the right of every child in our state to a healthy start and a healthy, happy, productive future. Legal time limits apply, so protect your child’s interests by calling today.

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The personal injury attorneys in Phoenix, Arizona, at Knapp & Roberts have the compassion and trial lawyer skills to tell your story to a jury. We will get to know you and your family so that we can help the jury understand what has happened to you and your family and how it has changed your lives. Obtain the compensation necessary for the injuries and losses you have suffered.