Can a Doctor Be Responsible for Your Child’s Birth Defect?

Can a Doctor Be Responsible for Your Child’s Birth Defect?

by / Wednesday, 06 April 2022 / Published in Birth Trauma, Medical Malpractice
Mother holds a sleeping newborn.

Finding out that your newborn child has a birth defect is a deeply upsetting event. It’s only natural to have a lot of questions about your situation. You want to know about what you’ll need to do to care for the child. You want to know how it will affect your child’s life. And, very often, parents want to know what caused the defect and if there was any way it could have been prevented. 

Ultimately, birth defects can occur for several different reasons. In many cases, they’re genetic and aren’t the fault of anyone. But can they ever be the result of medical negligence?

Birth Defect vs. Birth Injury

First, it’s important to understand the difference between a birth defect and a birth injury. The key difference between the two is time when they develop. Birth injuries are injuries that occur during labor, delivery, or the time immediately following delivery. On the other hand, birth defects develop before birth. This means that things like heart defects, cleft lip, and neural tube defects all fall in the category of birth defects while things like Erb’s palsy, HIE, and bone fractures are birth injuries.

Doctors & Birth Defects

While birth defects are very often congenital, there are some situations where a birth defect could be caused by a doctor’s negligence. During pregnancy, it’s very important that doctors be very careful when it comes to any medication an expectant mother takes. While many types of medication are safe to take during pregnancy, some types of medication have been linked to birth defects. Some of these medications include: SSRIs, Topamax, Zofran, NSAIDs, and anticonvulsants. Certain types of antibiotics have also been linked to birth defects. 

Even if a birth defect is congenital, it’s still important for doctors to take appropriate measures to detect birth defects during pregnancy. In some cases, it may be possible for the defect to be treated before birth. Early detection can also help expectant parents better prepare for the care their child will need. 

Contact a Michigan Birth Trauma Lawyer

If your child was born with a defect that you believe was caused by medical negligence, don’t hesitate to contact a birth trauma lawyer. It’s important to get help from someone who knows the law and can help you understand your legal rights. At Goodwin & Scieszka, you’ll be able to get help from a Michigan-based lawyer experienced in helping the victims of both birth trauma and medical malpractice. Contact us today to get started.

Image: iStock / kieferpix

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