Law Office of Robert A. Miller
Serving Oregon Medical Malpractice And Car Accident Clients Statewide
541-359-4331

What's the difference between birth injuries and defects?

Birth injuries and defects are not something that any expectant parent wants to think about. It's understandable that they would rather focus on the joy of bringing a new life into the world. Unfortunately, not every child comes out of the womb in perfect shape.

Errors during the delivery process can result in birth injuries to both mother and child. Babies are born with birth defects. It might be easy to assume that the only time a parent might have cause for bringing legal action for malpractice is when a delivery mistake leads to broken bones, nerve or brain damage, or physical harm to the mother. But that isn't always the case.

Birth defects and birth injuries do tend to fall into different categories as far as perception goes. The thing that can make them the same is the question; could the harm have been avoided by following accepted standards of care? If the answer is yes then cause for legal action may exist.

Knowing whether a complication is due to a delivery issue or a birth defect can be tricky. For example, it might be discovered in time that a child is suffering from cerebral palsy. It might be the result of an unpreventable birth defect. It might also be due to the infant having suffered a cutoff of oxygen during labor due to a doctor's misuse of equipment.

While birth defects are often hereditary, sometimes they are not. A number of chemicals are known teratogens. That is, they are known to cause birth defects. In some cases, they are actually developed and marketed as drugs to help during pregnancies.

The mother's own actions during pregnancy may also result in birth defects, however. If she drinks alcohol or takes illegal drugs, it can lead complications for the newborn.

What becomes clear is that sorting out whether legal recovery is a possibility is something that needs to be discussed with an experienced attorney.

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Law Office of Robert A. Miller
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