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Articles Posted in Birth Injury

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A new birth should be an exciting time, but unfortunately sometimes things can go wrong. Birth injuries happen in many ways and affect one or multiple areas: the baby’s nervous system, face or brain, for example. In these cases, pinpointing an injury’s exact cause can be tricky. They may be the result of high risk factors, in which trained doctors and nurses did everything correctly. Other times, however, they result from medical mistakes that can be costly.


On occasion, a doctor must use forceps, a tool with pincers, to deliver a baby. Many babies end up perfectly fine, with nary a bruise. But in the worst cases, the infant ends up with nerve or brain damage. Inexperienced wielding of forceps may also lead to facial paralysis – although in many cases, there may be doubt about what exactly caused damage to the facial nerve. It could be a large baby, forceps, a long labor or a combination, in addition to other circumstances.

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There is no easy answer to this question. However, that does not mean that you should not search for answers regarding the care, or lack of care, your infant received during labor and delivery. If the circumstances fall within the definition of medical malpractice, a claim could be pursued in a Texas civil court.

Every birth is unique, so it is unrealistic to believe that every case will fit into a tidy box. An attorney should be able to tell you whether there is reason to suspect that your obstetrician, nurse or other medical personnel made a mistake. Every aspect of the labor and delivery will need to be reviewed and analyzed to determine whether the care received by mother and/or child was substandard. A qualified medical professional should be brought in to render an opinion regarding whether errors were made that resulted in the injuries your child suffered.

Once it is determined that there is a viable claim, damages will need to be assessed. You can request much more from a Texas civil court than just current medical bills. There is much more to caring for a child with permanent and/or debilitating injuries than just medical care, and those expenses need to be projected as well.

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Water immersion labors are becoming increasing popular due to the success rates and benefits to both the child and the mother. Studies show that laboring in water can help reduce pain and the need for anesthesia. Nevertheless, doctors are saying the mother should not actually give birth in the water due to potential risks for the infant.

Labor in water, but not during birth

The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists found that water immersion during the first stage of labor has benefits for mothers. It has been found to reduce labor pains and the duration of the labor.

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Cerebral palsy is the most common motor disability among children, and the lives of many children in Texas are affected by it. Parents whose children have been diagnosed with cerebral palsy very likely will want answers as to why their child has it and what the prognosis might be. Although this blog can provide no medical or legal advice for particular cases, it can provide some basic information about cerebral palsy and some possible causes.

Cerebral palsy is a group of disorders that can impact someone’s ability to move and to keep balance and posture. It is caused by abnormal development of the brain or damage to a developing brain. The impact of cerebral palsy varies by individual. Some people merely exhibit awkwardness while moving or walking but do not require special assistance. Others might require special equipment to get around, and some might not be able to walk at all and require lifelong care.

What causes cerebral palsy? A small percentage of cases are caused by brain injuries suffered more than 28 days after birth. The vast majority of cases, however, are believed to be due to brain injury suffered before birth or during birth. These are estimated to be as many as 90 percent of cerebral palsy cases. Cerebral palsy caused before birth or during birth is referred to as congenital cerebral palsy.

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It happens often in Bexar County: A mother give birth to a healthy baby, and soon mom, dad and baby are on their way home to begin their new lives together. Sometimes, however, something goes wrong, and the health of the baby is negatively impacted. This can happen due to the negligence of a medical professional, among other causes. This blog post will discuss an all-too-common birth injury that can have severe effects: Erb’s palsy.

Erb’s palsy can result when a baby suffers injury to a group of nerves that connects the arm and hands to the spinal cord. These nerves are called the brachial plexus, and they may be damaged during the childbirth process if the person doing the delivery does not follow the correct procedure. The baby may experience limpness or paralysis in the arm and a loss of sensation in their fingers and hands. This injury will usually require expensive medical treatment to treat. Sometimes permanent injury will result from an injured brachial plexus.

Medical professionals are expected to know the warning signs that indicate precautions against Erb’s palsy must be taken. If the baby is larger than average in utero, the medical professional is expected to take steps to prevent Erb’s palsy. These steps can include avoiding the use of excessive pressure on the baby’s head or neck during delivery. It can also include ordering a Caesarian section to be performed.

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Birth trauma relates to injuries suffered by an infant during birth, usually caused by mechanical forces like traction and compression. Birth trauma may cause hypoxic-ischemic insult, permanent injuries and lifelong developmental challenges for affected infants.

In extreme cases, birth trauma causes stillbirths and deaths. Two percent of neonatal stillbirths and deaths are attributed to birth trauma.

In some cases, birth trauma is unavoidable. For example, larger babies tend to have a higher risk of injury during delivery. In other cases, these injuries are the direct result of delivery room errors and/or doctors’ errors. Indeed, an estimated 50 percent of birth injuries are avoidable if early detection is made and appropriate and timely action is taken to correct the problem.

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When a child is born it is supposed to be a happy occasion. The joy can quickly fade to anxiety, though, if complications result in the child being born with a birth defect or injury. Suddenly, the prospect of having to provide for a lifetime of care can loom.

Desperation might lead the family of an injured newborn to want to find someone, anyone, to blame and hold accountable through filing a lawsuit. While such feelings are understandable, not every case of birth injury is necessarily actionable. To know if you have a viable case, you need to consult with an experienced attorney.

To start with, there needs to be some reasonable suspicion that a doctor, nurse or other professional involved in your care during the birth failed to follow the accepted standards of care called for by the circumstances of your case.

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Few women who go through natural childbirth would say the first time around is a walk in the park. Most men brave enough to even witness the process would probably be quick to agree. And now new research indicates just how significantly traumatic childbirth can be for some women.

The work by a group at the University of Michigan started with the premise that the physical demands of childbirth on the body could easily be likened to the stresses encountered by someone who participates in an endurance sport like long-distance running.

They noted that when such athletes suffer injuries, the typical medical practice is to subject them to magnetic resonance imaging to really get a clear picture of how bad an injury might be. So the researchers applied that technique to a group of 68 women who had been identified as being high-risk patients for birth-related injuries. These women had endured either a long pushing phase during delivery or were older.

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In one of our previous posts we observed that if a child suffers a birth injury, the effects are felt for a lifetime. It can be a physical and emotional challenge for everyone involved, parents and children alike.

Very often, even if parents have or find the inner strength to meet the demands of caregiving, they may lack the financial resources that may be needed to see that adequate care is available for as long as is needed. If the injury results from some negligence in the delivery of care during pregnancy or delivery, those responsible deserve to be held accountable. But how is that determined?

Experienced personal injury attorneys know that birth injury claims may be based on several factors. One is evidence of a failure by caregivers to deliver the generally accepted standard of care. Another might be traceable to the legal use of prescription drugs or other recommended medications during pregnancy. If warnings should have been provided and were not, a claim for recovery might be viable.

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Whenever a medical condition begins to make headlines a push seems to follow from the research community to try to find ways to deal with it. We saw it happen with polio. It happened again with AIDS, and most recently with the horrendous Ebola outbreak in West Africa. The good news is that very often, researchers succeed in finding solutions.

Now it seems that traumatic brain injuries are a major focus. It makes sense. All TBIs are serious, even though they may vary widely in terms of their severity. At one end of the spectrum might be a concussion suffered by a child hit in the head by a fly ball. On the other end might be the accident that leaves a victim and his or her family with problems that last a lifetime.

Experts acknowledge that one of the biggest challenges they face is in properly diagnosing how bad an injury may be. Someone with a mild concussion diagnosis may display symptoms that are anything but mild. Some who are diagnosed with severe trauma may well get back to pre-injury status. It’s hard for doctors to know what treatments to apply.