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Understanding the difference between birth injuries and defects

On Behalf of | Jun 19, 2018 | Birth Injuries

Everyone hopes for a healthy birth when having a baby. While things usually go as planned, occasionally things go awry. While defects may be unavoidable at times medical malpractice before or during the birth may be at play with injuries. It is important for Delaware parents to know the difference between birth defects and birth injuries under the law, as well as who is responsible when things go wrong in the delivery room.

Legally, birth defects are differentiated from birth injuries. Defects are abnormalities that begin to develop when a baby is in the womb. They are usually detected during pregnancy, but some are not identified until after delivery. These can be caused by genetic or environmental factors, such as pharmaceutical drug use. Typically, there is no liability case when birth defects occur.

Liability often becomes a legal consideration in the case of birth injuries. These are often caused by forceful use of birthing instruments. For example, a doctor who uses forceps or vacuum-assisted delivery improperly could cause serious nerve or brain damage to the baby. Delayed delivery is another common cause of birth injuries and can lead the baby to suffer from a lack of oxygen.

Some birth injuries show signs right away, while others are identified later on. Delaware parents should be aware of statutes of limitations, civil systems and other issues should they choose to bring a suit against medical professionals in a birth injury case. Speaking to a lawyer about possible options is a good first step.