Having a child is one of the greatest moments parents will ever experience, but when a newborn baby is not healthy, this can cause some serious worry and distress for them. Unfortunately, birth defects and trauma happen and, though the terms might be used interchangeably, the fact is that they have entirely different meanings and are not at all synonymous. The difference between the two will also mean the difference between whether you are able to file a lawsuit or not, which is why it is crucial to understand the meaning of these terms.
Birth Injuries Are Usually Preventable
Birth injuries are generally conditions or health problems that are sustained as a result of complications that arise during pregnancy or the birthing process. More often than not, these injuries are preventable and occur due to the negligent or improper actions of healthcare professionals.
Below are some of the most common causes of birth injuries:
- Failure to appropriately treat complications during pregnancy, birth, or shortly after birth
- Failure to perform a C-section when required in a timely manner
- Failure to recognize and treat the signs and symptoms of fetal distress
- The improper usage of birth assistance tools
- Administering the incorrect medication before, during, or after birth
- Administering the incorrect dosage of medication before, during, or after birth
While some injuries are mild enough to allow for a full recovery, others can be potentially severe, life-altering, and permanent. The following are some of the most common birth injuries:
- Caput Succedaneum: The significant swelling of soft tissues of the baby’s scalp, which develops when a baby is delivered by vacuum extraction. It can result in bruising, though the swelling typically disappears within a few days.
- Brachial Palsy: These types of injuries occur when a group of nerves, known as the brachial plexus, is injured. It is often sustained when it is difficult to deliver a baby’s shoulder. As a result, the baby will lose the ability to flex or rotate the arm. In some cases, movement can return within a few months, though tearing of the nerves could result in permanent damage that will require special exercises to regain some range of motion of the affected arm.
- Fractures: The clavicle and collarbone are most susceptible to this type of injury, particularly when there is difficulty delivery the baby’s shoulder during a breech delivery.
- Facial Paralysis: Pressure on one side of the baby’s face can potentially cause facial nerves to sustain damage, which will be visible when the baby cries. This injury could also be caused by the improper use of forceps during delivery. If the nerves were not torn, paralysis could improve in a few weeks. Otherwise, surgery might be required.
Birth Injury Compensation
Birth injuries are not just caused by the negligent actions of a healthcare professional, but also by their lack of action as well. To help cope with the financial hardships caused by these incidents, families are able to hold the responsible party liable by filing a birth injury lawsuit. This is particularly helpful for those who will be in need of lifelong treatment and care, the cost of which can be immensely burdensome. Make sure you contact an experienced birth injury attorney to handle your case.
Birth Defects Are Generally Not Preventable
On the other hand, birth defects are often not preventable since they are not usually caused by negligence, though there are a few rare exceptions. Most, however, are unavoidable and result from genetically inheritable conditions or diseases that impact the baby’s DNA. Examples of some common birth defects include:
- Cleft palate
- Spina bifida
- Down syndrome
- Various heart defects
Birth Injury Attorneys in Baltimore
At Brown & Barron, LLC, our skilled and experienced team of birth injury attorneys understand how devastating it can be to realize your baby was harmed by negligent medical professionals, which is why we are dedicated to pursuing justice and compensation on your behalf. Backed by a proven track record of success, you can be confident in our ability to effectively represent you.
Get started today and call our law firm at (410) 698-1717 to schedule a free consultation with a knowledgeable member of our legal team.