Having a baby is usually one of the most joyful times in people's lives. However, when your child is born with an injury or disability, that joy is quickly replaced by fear, anger, confusion, sadness and helplessness.
People often don't differentiate between a birth defect and a birth injury. However, they are not the same thing. Birth injuries are caused by something that happened during the baby's delivery, while birth defects occur while the fetus is developing.
Medical professionals may be held liable for a birth defect if, for instance, a drug was prescribed to a pregnant woman that was known to be potentially dangerous to her fetus. Pharmaceutical companies can also be held liable if they did not properly warn doctors and patients of potential dangers. However, it is more likely for a birth injury to be the fault of a doctor or other medical practitioner.
If you believe that your baby's condition may have been the result of medical malpractice, it's best to seek legal guidance. There are also a number of resources that provide information on birth injuries. Some also provide ways to connect with other parents who are experiencing the same thing you are. They can be a great source of support. Here are just a few.
BirthInjury.org provides support for families impacted by a birth injury. It also provides a wealth of information on various types of birth injuries.KidsHealth.org has a wealth of information for all parents. It has a "Diseases and Conditions" page that describes a multitude of medical conditions. This includes some, like developmental dysplasia of the hip, which can occur during the birthing process. United Cerebral Palsy's site, UCP.org provides both information and support for people who have this condition and for their families. Cerebral palsy is often caused when the baby's brain doesn't get enough oxygen during the birth.
It's essential to find out, assuming that it's knowable, what caused your child's birth injury. This can help ensure that you get the appropriate treatment. It can be a relief to know that no one could have prevented it. However, if the medical professionals involved are at fault, you should be able to seek damages to help pay for the care, rehabilitation and other costs that your child will need, whether just for a short time or into adulthood.
Source: FindLaw, "Birth Injury Resources," accessed April. 16, 2015