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Birth injuries often caused by medical choices

When mothers give birth in Texas, the last thing they may expect is for themselves or their child to emerge with a serious birth injury. However, in far too many cases, medical negligence or mistakes can lead to dangerous outcomes for newborns. Despite advances in scientific knowledge, birth injury continues to pose a serious threat. For example, the rate of brachial plexus birth injury (BPBI) has increased.

Researchers have attempted to identify risk factors in order to reduce the threat of this type of birth injury by studying mothers who delivered a child with BPBI and those who did not. Medical decisions were shown to be linked to the likelihood of a negative outcome; for example, the risk of BPBI was 2.5 times greater when oxytocin was used to stimulate contractions. In addition, the risk rose 3.7 times when a condition of excessive contractions, called tachysystole, occurred during labor and delivery. Other issues were also linked to a higher BPBI risk, including greater weight gain during pregnancy and longer labor times.

BPBI may also be more likely to occur when physicians used instruments to expedite labor and delivery. While most infants recover after suffering this injury at birth, as many of 20 percent do not experience a full recovery. They may have ongoing musculoskeletal problems that require lifelong treatment.

Physicians often make decisions to use medicines to speed contractions and the process of labor. In some cases, this can be medically advised. However, it can be a serious error in other cases. Parents whose child has suffered birth injuries as a result of negligent medical behavior can work with a medical malpractice lawyer to examine the potential of seeking compensation for the damages caused.

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