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Birth injuries could put infants' lives at risk

Many Texas parents-to-be are concerned about the potential for serious health problems for their babies. While infant mortality rates have declined nationwide, 22,335 babies lose their lives each year. Parents are worried their children might suffer serious injuries during birth that can be fatal or life-changing. There are certain factors that are the most common causes of infant mortality. Prenatal complications and birth and labor injuries are some of the more frequent contributors to babies' deaths, as are infectious diseases, birth defects, auto accidents and homicide.

The U.S. has a significantly higher infant mortality rate than other developed countries and ranks 33rd out of 36 wealthy nations that are members of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development. Congenital birth defects and other problems that arose during pregnancy cause almost half of all infant deaths, mostly associated with premature birth and low weight at birth. Multiple babies like twins and triplets are particularly at risk. There is a serious racial disparity associated with infant mortality, and black, Native American and Latino parents are much more likely than white parents to lose a child.

Other infant deaths are associated with birth injuries, sometimes caused by doctor errorsl during delivery. Some types of medical errors may mean that an infant does not die but suffers lifelong consequences as a result. Other children may contract highly infectious diseases in the hospital due to poor sanitation or other hospital mistakes. In other cases, a health care professional may be too slow to call for emergency aid.

While infant fatalities may have a range of causes, new parents may be concerned about the risk of birth injuries at the hospital. Parents of children who are suffering due to a medical mistake can consult with a malpractice attorney about their options to pursue compensation.

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