On Dec. 21, the Texas Supreme Court reversed the decision of a lower court to award damages to the parents of an infant who suffered injuries while receiving emergency medical care from a hospital. The reason for this decision, according to the court opinion, was that the parents were unable to prove "willful and wanton negligence" by the hospital staff. The parents originally sued the hospital under provisions established by the Texas Medical Liability Act.
Expectant mothers in Texas should be aware of the different kinds of complications that are possible during delivery. One of these is called shoulder dystocia (dystocia means a slow or difficult birth). What happens is that the baby's shoulders become stuck inside the mother's body. While most babies can still be born safely this way, others may be injured.
Cerebral palsy is a disease that results when the brain does not develop properly. New research sheds some light on the possible reasons some children get the disease and others do not. Until recently, most experts thought CP developed during birth when oxygen to the baby gets restricted. Now, however, more doctors have discovered CP can occur before, during and after birth.
Between 2000 and 2006, there was at least a 20 percent decrease in the number of avoidable birth injuries in Texas and across the U.S, according to the Healthcare Research and Quality Agency. The CDC recorded 23,161 infant deaths in 2016, but birth injuries were not as prominent a factor in them as congenital issues, low birth weights, premature delivery and sudden infant death syndrome.
Expectant mothers in Texas should not be content to trust any hospital when it comes to prenatal care. The fact is that maternal mortality rates have hit record highs in the U.S., reportedly because of hospital negligence. Physicians may fail to adequately assess or respond to complications that arise with a pregnancy, and staff members may cut corners to save money. Understaffing, poor training, below-average pay and a lack of regulations also contribute.