Labor and childbirth can be a challenging time for many Texas mothers and children, especially if medical mistakes are involved. Even though doctors and other healthcare professionals are well-informed about the need for supportive, efficient and up-to-date treatment for issues during the prenatal period, childbirth and immediately thereafter, medical mistakes happen all too frequently. This is a particularly vulnerable time for both mother and child, and serious birth injuries can result when something goes wrong.
There are relatively mild birth injuries that babies may experience; these can include bruises, broken bones or other relatively minor injuries due to forceps, lacerations or vacuum extractions. While these can be painful and indeed traumatic to the child and his or her parents, their effects are likely to be shorter-term and will not persist during a child’s life. Some more severe injuries during childbirth may not be immediately apparent, especially when a child’s brain is injured due to a lack of oxygen. Some effects are immediately apparent, such as blue skin tone, difficulty breathing, bulges in the head, vomiting or an inability to cry.
Limb pain, jaundice, tenderness, muscle tone issues or problems eating can take a longer period of time to discover. There are a number of problems that can happen during childbirth, and inadequate response can be as problematic as direct injury. For example, a doctor may delay inducing labor despite the fact that birth is delayed for 18 hours or more. In other cases, a midwife may face challenges with an emergency birth and call 911; it may take emergency services up to 20 minutes to arrive.
Birth injuries can be emotionally devastating as well as physically painful. When parents’ and children’s lives have been negatively affected by the long-term consequences of a medical error, they might work with a medical malpractice lawyer to seek compensation for their damages.