The terms “birth defect” and “birth injury” are often used interchangeably. However, there is an important difference between the two.
- A birth defect is a condition or abnormality that occurs due to a genetic problem, exposure to a toxic substance, or infection during development in the womb. Some birth defects are mild and cause little or no symptoms, while others can be severe and cause serious health problems.
- A birth injury, on the other hand, is an injury that occurs during labor and delivery. Birth injuries are preventable and occur when caregivers fail to provide proper medical care during the birthing process. While some birth injuries heal with time, others can be permanent and result in lifelong disabilities.
We highly recommend a birth injury lawyer Pittsburgh in the case of birth injuries. An attorney is critical to determining success.
The Main Differences With Examples
The difference between a birth defect and birth injury is significant. A birth defect is a deformity or abnormality that is present at the time of birth. It may be caused by environmental factors, such as exposure to toxins or radiation, or genetic factors, such as a chromosomal abnormality.
Birth defects can often be prevented or treated through the use of prenatal vitamins or medications. Some birth defects are preventable through lifestyle choices, such as avoiding drugs and alcohol during pregnancy.
Birth injuries, on the other hand, are injuries that occur during labor and delivery. These injuries may not be apparent immediately after delivery but may develop signs over time. Birth injuries can result from many different factors, including:
- Failure to monitor fetal heart rate patterns
- Improper use of forceps or vacuum extraction devices
- Delay in performing a cesarean section (C-section)
- Premature separation of the placenta from the uterine wall (placental abruption)
- Excessive traction on the umbilical cord while pulling on an infant’s head during delivery
A birth injury is actually a subcategory of birth defects, which are medical conditions that result in physical or mental impairments. These defects can range from minor to severe and can be detected at any point in life. Birth injuries are typically the result of negligence on the part of the doctor or hospital staff during the birthing process, and they often result in life-long deficits.
Birth defects occur when a baby is developing in the womb, while birth injuries occur during labor and delivery. Both may be due to maternal or genetic factors, or they may be caused by something else entirely. Birth defects may also be caused by a combination of these factors.
The causes of birth injuries and birth defects vary greatly, but here are some of the most common:
- Lack of prenatal care
- Uncontrolled diabetes
- Substance abuse
- Environmental hazards
- Family history of disorders or congenital disabilities
- Chromosomal abnormalities (e.g., Down syndrome)
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