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birth injuries Archives

Malpractice case ruling reversed by Texas Supreme Court

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.

An overview of shoulder dystocia

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.

Birth injury lawsuits rise, settlements grow higher

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.

How expectant mothers can lower the chances of a birth injury

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.

HELLP syndrome often misdiagnosed in pregnant moms

An estimated two to six percent of pregnant mothers in Texas experience HELLP syndrome during their pregnancy. The condition is believed to be related to preeclampsia and can be dangerous for both the mom and the unborn baby. The condition causes the red blood cells to break down, elevates liver enzyme levels and decreases the number of platelets, which are responsible for helping the blood to clot. It is often initially misdiagnosed as it has similar symptoms of other conditions, such as gallbladder disease or hepatitis.

Hospitals' responsibility for birth injuries

Birth injuries can be devastating and traumatic to Texas parents and children, especially when they were caused by the actions of negligent doctors, nurses and other health care professionals. When children are injured at birth by medical professionals, there is a number of parties that could be held liable for the damages. For example, the hospital where the birth injury took place is, in many cases, responsible for the conduct of its staff that caused damage.

Doctors have duty to monitor pregnant women for preeclampsia

Prenatal care for pregnant women in Texas includes regular blood pressure monitoring. Persistently elevated blood pressure, as indicated by two readings above 140/90 taken at least four hours apart, is a warning sign for preeclampsia. This condition could result in serious complications, including maternal death and birth injuries. Doctors who fail to notice the warning signs of preeclampsia and do not follow up with appropriate monitoring and care could face claims of negligence from the victims.

What to watch for during a forceps delivery

Babies who are delivered with the assistance of forceps may experience minor injuries. Typically, these injuries involve bruises or marks around the head, and a baby could be scratched by the device as well. Mothers in Texas and elsewhere could also be injured if forceps are needed to complete a delivery. While most injuries heal over time, this is not always true.

Hypoxic-ischemic encephalitis often caused by birth trauma

Hypoxic-ischemic encephalitis (HIE) is a type of brain trauma that is found in infants in Texas and across the nation. It occurs when the baby's brain doesn't receive enough blood or oxygen, and this usually happens before or during labor. The condition occurs in 20 infants out of every 1,000 live births. HIE is more likely in premature infants; approximately 60 percent of infants born before 37 weeks gestation experience HIE.

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