Parents of children who have been injured or killed during a traumatic childbirth in Illinois are often left reeling and desperate for answers to difficult questions. How did this happen? Could it have been avoided? Is anyone responsible? Determining answers to those questions can be quite difficult, especially because it is not always immediately clear whether the child is suffering from a birth injury or a birth defect. While these terms sound similar, they describe very different issues, and it is important to understand what each means as you seek a resolution for your and your child’s suffering.
What is a Birth Defect?
A birth defect is a congenital abnormality that can occur for several reasons, all of them having to do with the genetic development of an unborn infant. A birth defect can happen for no apparent reason; sometimes when genes copy themselves, they make small mistakes that can lead to tragic consequences. Other times, a birth defect happens because of a parent’s exposure to substances, such as alcohol or cigarette smoke, that cause a developing infant’s genes to change and function incorrectly. Examples of common birth defects include, but are not limited to:
- Cleft palate and cleft lip
- Down syndrome
- Congenital heart defects
What is a Birth Injury?
A healthy developing infant or newborn can suffer a birth injury when problems occur during pregnancy or childbirth. Sometimes, birth injuries are the result of unavoidable complications. Other times, however, birth injuries are the result of negligence on the part of the infant’s healthcare providers. Infants can be injured during birth in many ways, including:
- Improper use of forceps or vacuum suction
- Pitocin use
- Prolonged labor
- C-section deliveries
- Breech birth complications
- Wrong medicine or dosage
Any of these situations can lead to serious consequences, including cerebral palsy and other types of brain damage, nerve damage, infection, meconium aspiration, and even death. Careful investigation may be required to determine whether the gynecological team responsible for providing the highest standard of medical care failed in their responsibility to the injured child or mother.
Meet with a Cook County Birth Injuries Lawyer
After a tragic incident before or during childbirth leads to an infant suffering from injuries, you may wonder whether there is anyone who may be held responsible. At Birth Injury Law Alliance, Ltd., we have extensive experience helping suffering parents investigate the events that led to their child’s injury and determine whether there is a third party who is answerable for their negligence or carelessness. Call us today at 312-462-4200 to schedule a free, no-pressure consultation with a Chicago, IL birth injuries lawyer. Whenever you are ready to talk, we are ready to help.