Birth Injury Resources
Created by FindLaw's team of legal writers and editors | Last reviewed June 20, 2016
There are a number of risks involved in childbirth, including labor and delivery complications that lead to injuries such as cerebral palsy and Erbs palsy. Birth defects differ from birth injuries in that they are not caused by the birthing process itself. For instance, genetics or chemical agents may cause defects in developing fetuses that are not evident until the child is born.
Generally, birth injuries are more likely to be the result of medical malpractice than birth defects, although negligent prenatal care could lead to birth defects. For instance, a prescribing doctor who fails to warn a patient about potential side effects of a drug that could harm a developing fetus may be held liable for any injuries the medication causes. But pharmaceutical companies may also be liable if the drugs were inadequately tested or dangerous side effects were ignored.
Cerebral palsy, meanwhile, typically results from a lack of oxygen to the baby's brain during the birthing process. Erbs palsy is caused by an injury to the nerves surround the baby's shoulder, which affects movement of the arm.
As with other personal injury cases, your attorney will help you determine which parties are responsible in a birth injury case. Hospitals are often held liable for these injuries, along with any physicians or other hospital staff that is found to be liable. See FindLaw's Birth Injury and Medical Malpractice Liability sections to learn more.
But aside from legal resources, there are a number of government agencies and non-governmental organizations that provide educational materials, advocacy, and other assistance to parents concerned about birth injuries. Many of the resources below also cover pregnancy and birth in general.
Please contact us if you have suggestions for additional birth injury resources.
- FDA - Promoting Healthy Pregnancies - The Food and Drug Administration's Office Of Women's Health provides a variety of resources pertaining to pregnancy, birth control, and other fertility-related issues.
- The Food and Drug Law Institute - Examines the laws, regulations, and policies related to foods, drugs, medical devices, other health care technologies; including agents that may contribute to birth injuries.
- KidsHealth.org - Providing physician-approved health information about children, from prenatal care through adolescence; including a variety of pregnancy and baby-related topics.
- National Patient Safety Foundation - Features patient safety literature on a wide variety of health care topics, with information about common medical complications and ways patients can better empower themselves.
- Planned Parenthood - Providing comprehensive reproductive health care services, and promoting research and advancement of technology in reproductive health care.
- United Cerebral Palsy - Educational, advocacy, and support organization for people with cerebral palsy and related disabilities.
- Lucile Packard Children's Hospital (Stanford): Birth Injury - Succinct overview of birth injuries, with a list of common causes and brief explanations of the most common birth injuries.
- BirthInjury.org - Support group for anyone whose lives have been affected by birth injuries, including the families of patients; offers public education resources.
- Understanding Cerebral Palsy (WebMD) - General overview of cerebral palsy, what causes it, and links to additional resources.
If you have additional questions or require legal representation for a birth injury claim, contact a specialized birth injury attorney in your area.
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