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BIRTH INJURY LAWYERS

HOUSTON, DALLAS, AND AUSTIN BIRTH INJURY LAWYERS

birth injury lawyer

Welcoming a new baby should be a joyous event. But, for roughly seven out of 1,000 births, that happiness is complicated by an injury to the newborn sustained during delivery. Cerebral palsy, which affects one in 500 babies, is the most well-known and arguably the most devastating. Affecting one in 500 infants, cerebral palsy results from irreversible damage to the baby’s brain. If your family has suffered from a serious birth injury such as cerebral palsy as the result of negligence on the part of a medical professional, you have the right to demand justice. 

 

At Sneed|MItchell LLP, we understand the heartache and mental and emotional strain birth injuries can bring. We specialize in birth injury lawsuits and are ready to help. With lawyers in Houston, Dallas, and Austin, we help families statewide. Call us today at (866)434-0014, or fill out our contact form and lawyer with call you now.

Birth Injuries Are Different Than Birth Defects

A birth injury is distinct from a birth defect. A birth defect is a problem a fetus develops before birth. Birth injuries, on the other hand, are caused by physical trauma sustained during the birthing process. Such physical trauma is almost always preventable. 

 

For cases involving infant claims, injuries usually fall into one of the three following groups: 

 

  • Neurological or brain damage (41% of claims)

  • Shoulder injuries (37% of claims)

  • Death or stillbirth (34% of claims)

 

Regardless of what categories they fall into, birth injuries have a lifelong impact. Therefore, these types of liability claims are extremely expensive.

Top Issues That Result In Delivery Complications

Each day, a significant percentage of birth injuries occur that were preventable if diligent and proper  medical care and monitoring were provided. Some of the situations we commonly see leading to birth injuries includes the following:

  • Miscommunication: Many women, particularly first-time mothers--do not receive adequate information concerning the care both they and their baby will receive before, during and following the birth. It is important for health care providers to make sure their patients are well informed.

  • Inexperienced Midwives: Because regulation and licensing vary from state to state, midwives may have vastly different levels of clinical experience.

  • Poor Monitoring of Fetal Heart Patterns: Fetal heart rates must be closely monitored. Consequently, health care professionals must receive ongoing training in order to keep their skills sharp.

  • Poor Management of Labor and Delivery: In the Coverys study, almost half (40%) of birth injury liability claims involved poor management of labor and delivery. The majority of these claims were made after a vaginal birth (as opposed to a C-section). Thus, vaginal birth proved to be the more dangerous delivery option for the mother and baby. To decrease the dangers associated with vaginal birth, medical providers must be well trained for situations in which it is necessary to perform a C-section instead of a vaginal birth.

 

Types of Child Delivery Injuries Caused By Medical Negligence

 

  • Cerebral Palsy--In the United States, there are currently about 800,000 people living with cerebral palsy. Approximately 10,000 babies are born with the condition each year. Many of these cases can be directly attributed to medical malpractice. Improper monitoring of the mother, inadequate birth techniques, and failure to monitor fetal distress during labor all have the potential to cause extreme hypoxic episodes, which can then lead to cerebral palsy.

  • Collar bone fractures--Shoulder dystocia is an injury that occurs when a baby’s shoulders become caught behind the mother’s pubic bone during delivery. If a doctor, nurse or midwife mishandles such an emergency--improperly using forceps during delivery, for example--the child can then suffer a fractured clavicle, or collar bone.

  • Brachial plexus injuries--The brachial plexus is a sensitive bundle of nerves located at the base of the neck which control sensation and movement within the shoulders, arms and hands. If shoulder dystocia occurs during delivery and the situation is not properly handled, the brachial plexus may be damaged, resulting in conditions such as Erb’s palsy or Klumpke’s palsy.

  • Spinal cord injuries--The spinal cord is the essential bundle of nerves that extends from the base of the skull to the lower back. If a baby’s spinal cord is compressed or otherwise stressed during delivery the infant can sustain permanent injury such as paralysis (loss of feeling and movement in the limbs) or neurological damage.

  • Perinatal asphyxia--if the flow of oxygen through the bloodstream to the child’s brain is disrupted an infant can suffer permanent brain, lung and kidney damage. An infection, umbilical cord problems, or excessive bleeding can all cause perinatal asphyxia.

  • Facial nerve palsy --Excess pressure on a child’s facial nerves during delivery may cause the loss of voluntary muscle movement in the face. Facial nerve palsy has also been linked to the use of labor-inducing medication or epidural anesthesia.

  • Intracranial hemorrhage--Insufficient blood or oxygen in the bloodstream can cause a blood vessel within the infant’s brain to rupture. This then results in excessive bleeding known as an intracranial hemorrhage. Following an intracranial hemorrhage, the child may suffer permanent brain damage or other complications. For example, the bleeding may cause the child to suffer from heightened levels of bilirubin (hyperbilirubinemia), which can lead to jaundice. 

  • Extracranial injuries--Misuse of a vacuum extractor or forceps during delivery may fracture the child’s skull or cause excessive bleeding between the brain and skill. An extracranial injury can permanently disfigure a child.

  • Skull Fractures--Skull fractures from birth trauma most often result from the misuse of instruments during vaginal delivery. Such fractures can be linear or depressed. They are typically asymptomatic unless associated with an intracranial injury. Plain film radiographs of the skull can clarify the diagnosis, but computed tomography (CT) or magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) of the brain is recommended if an intracranial injury is suspected or neurological symptoms are present.

Get Help From A Texas Birth Injury Lawyer Today

If you suspect that your child has suffered a birth injury as the result of negligence and want to file a birth injury claim, the experienced medical malpractice and injury lawyers of Sneed|Mitchell LLP want to help you. Coping with the injury of a child can be a difficult process, but as soon as you are ready to take legal action, call us at (866)434-0014, or fill out our contact form and lawyer with call you now. We have offices in Houston, Austin,  and Fort Worth, and we represent clients throughout Texas.

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