For many expecting parents, the 40-week wait for their bouncing bundle of joy is just a drop in the bucket compared to years or even a lifetime of parental longing. And in most cases, the parents get to leave the hospital completely in love with a perfectly healthy and happy new addition. However, not every new baby is born completely healthy. In fact, almost 150,000 babies annually in America are born with a birth defect or birth trauma. But what’s the difference and what can you do if your medical team makes the blunder of a lifetime?

Difference Between Preventable Birth Injuries & Defects

What Is a Birth Defect?

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), birth defects are so common that they affect 1 in every 33 infants born in the US annually. That equates to 1 child every 4.5 minutes having some type of birth defect. But what does that mean? A birth defect can range in severity. It develops in the womb and can be either a physical or congenital abnormality based on the child’s inherited traits and DNA. But many times, birth defects are also results of environmental concerns and/or the mother’s health. Birth defects themselves are difficult to prove outside blame for those reasons. Of course, in the event that the birth defect is obviously caused via prenatal treatment or prescription, the right birth injury attorney can help you seek justice.

What Is a Birth Injury?

A birth injury is different. It’s exactly what it sounds like it is: an injury that occurs during pregnancy or delivery. Unlike birth defects which are linked to genetic traits, for the most part, many birth injuries are completely preventable. A birth injury can be formed due to the mother’s health, vice choices, and activity levels. Birth injuries can also occur in late-term pregnancies or in fetuses that are carried by especially young mothers or those over the age of 35. But medical negligence can result in serious birth injuries as well. When this occurs, it’s most often due to lack of or improper communication among the medical team. For that reason, parents should always be fully involved in the pregnancy and demand to remain in the loop during the delivery in the event trouble or concerns arise in the labor room.

What Is the Main Type of Birth Injury?

According to United Cerebral Palsy, approximately 10,000 babies are born with cerebral palsy annually. Cerebral palsy is a blanket term for a group of neurological conditions that make simple movements, coordination, posture, and even sensory functions difficult for the patient. This specific condition is usually brought upon by severe head trauma, but 20% of CP patients develop their condition as a birth injury. Cerebral palsy can affect a specific area, one side, or all of the patient’s body. Loss of coordination, tight muscles and spastic joints, difficulty walking and speaking, and even seizures and learning difficulties can be the result of this birth injury. Moreover, it can take several years to fully diagnose. If you’re stressed about a birth injury likely caused by medical negligence, call us to discuss your concerns with a competent birth injury attorney.


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