Skip to main content

Chicago Birth Injury Attorney Explains the Difference Between a Birth Injury and a Birth Defect

$1,950,000 Recovery Medical Malpractice, Wrongful Death

Childbirth should be a joyous event that every parent hopes results in welcoming a happy, healthy baby. Unfortunately, that is not always the case. Complications may arise before, during, or shortly after the birth process that can result in long-lasting injuries. Families are devastated when their newborn suffers harm at birth or shows signs of a birth defect, especially when an infant’s injuries or condition could have been avoided with proper care and attention by health care providers. Understanding the difference between a birth defect and a birth injury can help determine if you have a viable birth injury-related claim.

What is a Birth Injury?

Birth injuries occur as a direct result of negligent behavior by medical doctors, nurses, or other healthcare providers during the labor or delivery process.  Injuries are known as Hypoxic Ischemic Encephalopathy (HIE).  Some medical errors or omissions that frequently cause birth injuries include:

  • Medication errors during labor and delivery;
  • Uterine rupture;
  • Shoulder dystocia;                  
  • Fetal oxygen deprivation; 
  • Fetal monitoring errors;
  • Infection; and
  • Delays and errors involving Cesarean sections  

When these errors occur, infants can suffer bone fractures, facial paralysis, brain damage, shoulder dystocia, Erb’s Palsy (Brachial Palsy), Cerebral Palsy, and even death. 

What is a Birth Defect?

A birth defect is a health condition, illness, or abnormality that occurs while an infant is in the womb and is present before birth. Defects can result from genetic problems, chromosomal abnormalities, and environmental factors like exposure to chemicals or toxic substances.

While many birth defects are congenital abnormalities and are unavoidable, others occur when health care providers make medication errors as a result of negligence. Whether caused by a medication error, exposure to something toxic, or indirect ingestion of a chemical substance during pregnancy, it can lead to birth defects such as: 

  • Cleft lip or cleft palate;
  • Missing or underdeveloped organs; or
  • Deformities of the spine and brain    

Pursuing a Birth Injury Lawsuit

If you or your infant has suffered an injury as a result of careless medical treatment during pregnancy, delivery, or aftercare, do not delay in pursuing a birth injury lawsuit. An experienced and skilled birth injury lawyer can assess the facts of your case, conduct a thorough investigation of all medical records, and recommend the best course of action.

Speak to Experienced Chicago Birth Injury Attorneys to Review Your Case

At Vinkler Lawour birth injury lawyers have award-winning expertise in birth injury and birth trauma cases in Chicago and throughout Illinois. We will discuss your case details and provide you with the information needed to make the best choices for you and your child – both now and in the future.

Schedule Now Form with Buttons

Complimentary Case Review Available Now

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.