Birth injury refers to damage or injury to the child before, during, or just after the birthing process.
Birth injury must be distinguished from birth trauma and birth defects. "Birth trauma" refers specifically to mechanical damage sustained during delivery (such as nerve damage and broken bones). "Birth defect" refers to damage that occurs while the fetus is in the womb, which may be caused by genetic mutations, infections, or exposure to toxins. There are more than 4,000 types of birth defects.Birth injury" may be used in two different ways: the ICD-10 uses "birth injury" and "birth trauma" interchangeably to refer to mechanical injuries sustained during delivery while the legal community uses "birth injury" to refer to any damage sustained during pregnancy, during delivery, or just after delivery.