Birth Defects vs. Birth Injuries

A birth defect is a health condition or illness that forms while the infant is still in the womb whereas a birth injury occurs while the mother is in labor or in the process of delivery.

newborn babyWhen a newborn experiences a serious physical or mental injury at birth, the damage often results in health problems and related issues requiring specialized medical care and therapy. In some instances, a birth injury lawsuit may be set in motion provided there is reasonable cause to believe the injury was brought about by negligence on the part of the attending doctor, medical staff or hospital facility.

Where litigation and liability are concerned, a birth defect is very distinct from a birth injury.

Defining a Birth Injury

A newborn can sustain a birth injury when a problem occurs while the mother is in labor or in the process of birthing. This can be the result of either negligence or an unavoidable complication. On one hand, a baby can be wounded by an incorrect method of delivery, or the misuse of extraction tools such as forceps or a venthouse (vacuum). On the other hand, inevitable problems can develop during birth and lead to injury, in spite of the doctor’s best efforts and proficiency. While certain injuries are evident at once, others are only discovered in time. Statistics show that 5 out of every 1000 infants born in the United States experience some form of physical or mental trauma, such as fetal distress (hypoxia), cerebral palsy, Erb’s palsy, brachial palsy, or extreme jaundice, just to name a few. Birth injuries can also cause distress on the newborn’s vital organs and skeletal structure.

BDRC Birth Defect Attorney Listings

BDRC does not endorse any law firm or attorney. BDRC does not promote or encourage litigation, and we cannot guarantee any results from an engagement of an attorney.

To find out more information about litigation, review Birth Defects and Litigation.

Attorneys or law firms that would like information about becoming a BDRC sponsor may reach us at

Comments are closed