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Houston Birth Injuries Legal Blog

Do the benefits of using forceps during birth outweigh the risks?

Perhaps you are one of many women here in Texas who enjoyed an uneventful pregnancy. You have no reason to believe that the labor and delivery will be any different.

Then, before you even realize what is happening, your obstetrician tells you that he or she needs to use forceps to deliver your baby. What went wrong? Is using forceps really necessary or does it put your baby at unnecessary risk? Should your doctor have acted sooner? After a birth injury, you may find yourself asking these questions.

Did your doctor ignore the warning signs of preeclampsia?

You could compare the labor and delivery portion of your pregnancy to the landing of an airplane. The whole flight may be smooth, but in the home stretch, any number of issues could arise and cause the plane to crash.

You could say the same about yourself. Somewhere between 5 and 8 percent of women suffer from preeclampsia near the end of their pregnancies. If not treated right away, it could turn into eclampsia or HELLP syndrome, both of which could have dire consequences for you and your baby's health. As it turns out, the best treatment for this condition is the delivery of your baby.

When preventable birth trauma leads to cerebral palsy

Just the natural yet traumatic process of being born can lead to health problems or even injuries in newborn babies. When the medical team responds appropriately, many of these conditions resolve safely and quickly. However, an improper medical response to trauma or even a mistake on the part of the birthing team could result in lifelong consequences for the infant.

Cerebral palsy caused by birth trauma is one such condition that has a lasting effect on a newborn baby. Any number of complications can lead to palsy, but when it occurs because of medical malpractice, it is especially devastating for families. In some cases, malpractice may occur not because of what medical professionals do but because of what they do not do.

Infant delivery trauma and the medical team's response

Fortunately, most babies are born injury-free and go on to be happy and healthy children. However, sometimes the worst fears of expectant parents come true and their infant experiences delivery trauma during birth. While no one wants to consider the possibility of delivery trauma, knowing what to do if it occurs can help parents whose newborns have suffered injuries.

Many factors can lead to delivery trauma. We have listed a few of these factors below.

  • Large babies with a birthweight exceeding eight pounds
  • Premature babies that are born at 37 weeks or less
  • Inadequate shape and size of the mother's pelvis
  • Difficult labor and delivery, also known as dystocia
  • Labor that lasts for a long time
  • Atypical birthing presentation such as buttocks first or breech position

Three birth injuries caused by medical malpractice

In the majority of births, the doctor and the rest of the delivery team take all the proper precautions to preserve the health of the infant and the mother. Unfortunately, there are some cases in which medical malpractice results in birth injuries. While it is extremely difficult for parents to think about their newborn suffering such harm, it is important to do so for your baby's wellbeing.

There are many ways an infant can suffer preventable harm during labor and delivery. If you are expecting a baby or if you suspect that your newborn might have suffered a preventable birth injury, it is wise to educate yourself about this uncomfortable topic. A good way to start is by learning about some of the most common birth injuries. Below you will find three examples.

The treatment for HIE only works if it's administered in time

During the course of your pregnancy, you probably fantasized about what your child would be like. You may have wondered what kind of person your child would turn into, along with what kind of life he or she would lead. If so, you aren't alone. Nearly every parent thinks about these things as they await the arrival of the newest addition to their families. Like most other Texas parents, you also had your share of worries, including how the labor and delivery would go.

In any birth, there is the chance that the baby will suffer from oxygen deprivation due to a variety of factors. If the loss of oxygen is significant, it could lead to hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy. HIE leads to brain damage if not properly treated within a timely manner.

Understanding brachial plexus injuries in newborns

Having a baby should be a time filled with immense joy. However, many parents suffer anxiety thinking about the possible birth injuries that might occur during delivery. One of the most common birth injuries is a brachial plexus injury.

The brachial plexus is a group of nerves near the shoulder that controls muscle movement in the hand, wrist, arm, elbow and shoulder. According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, one in every 1,000 babies born sustains a brachial plexus injury. 

What does hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy mean for your baby?

With all of the technology and advancements in medicine, you would think that safely delivering a baby would happen every time. Unfortunately, it doesn't always happen. Infants suffer a myriad of injuries as the result of substandard care from the doctors their mothers and fathers trusted.

If you trusted your obstetrician to make sure that you and your baby made it through labor and delivery unharmed, but that didn't happen, you wondered why. Then you find out that your baby suffered from a severe case of hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy.

Finding answers after your child suffers a birth injury

When the joy of childbirth turned into a terrifying emergency, your only thought was for your baby. How could something so routine and natural go so terribly wrong? Would the trauma of the difficult delivery result in lifelong injuries, disabilities and suffering?

If your child did suffer a birth injury, you likely came home from the hospital with many more questions, including trying to understand who was responsible for the injuries that left your child with a disability. Since every birth experience is unique, it may be difficult to determine whether your doctor, midwife, delivery room nurse or other medical professional acted negligently, but learning as much as possible about birth injuries is a starting point.

Who is responsible for my child's birth injury?

Discovering that your child suffered an injury during birth was probably a shock, but now your focus is on finding the best care you can for your baby. Depending on the kind and extent of injury, you may be looking at a lifetime of intense care or, at the other end of the spectrum, special services to assist with mobility, learning issues or other disabilities.

While you want the highest quality care, you understand how expensive this can be. Perhaps you have even had to leave your job to take care of your child, creating even more financial stress for your family. Additionally, have you considered what will happen to your child when you are no longer physically able to provide the daily care he or she needs?

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