The damages awarded in medical malpractice lawsuits in Texas and around the country sometimes run into the tens of millions of dollars when the victim is a child that will require around-the-clock medical care for the rest of their life. This was the situation presented to an Illinois jury in a case involving a boy who was born with severe brain damage in 2014. Thye jury responded by awarding $101 million in damages after determining that the Chicago hospital where the child was born acted negligently.
An ectopic pregnancy, otherwise known as a tubal pregnancy, can be a life-threatening health risk for mother if the problem is not caught in time. Many of these types of pregnancies in Texas aren't diagnosed until the mother goes to the emergency room, but ultrasounds can be used to detect the problem earlier. Early symptoms of the problem can include bleeding or cramping although these symptoms can also occur in normal pregnancies.
There are many expectant mothers in Texas who are curious about the process called delayed cord clamping. With DCC, the doctor clamps the umbilical cord 25 seconds to five minutes after delivery to allow more blood to travel from the placenta to the newborn. More blood means more iron, which is essential for healthy brain development.
Many children in Texas suffer from neurological disorders that go under the name of cerebral palsy. There is no single cause of CP, but babies who meet certain criteria will run a higher risk for it. One criterion is low birth weight: i.e., less than 5.5 pounds at birth. Another is premature birth: i.e., before 37 weeks, and especially before 32 weeks. CP can also develop in multiple births where one of the multiples during or shortly after childbirth.
Expectant mothers in Texas should be aware of the most common type of brain injury that occurs among premature infants: periventricular leukomalacia. It is a condition where the periventricular white matter, located around the sides and top of the brain, is damaged.
There are various types of cerebral palsy, including spastic, athetoid and ataxic CP. However, residents of Texas should be aware that some patients exhibit symptoms that are common to all of these types, in which case they have what medical specialists call mixed cerebral palsy. Approximately 10% of CP patients have this condition.
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.
Meconium aspiration syndrome is a birth injury that expecting mothers in Texas and around the country should know about. Meconium is the stool that infants pass before they start to feed on milk or formula. Usually, infants pass meconium after birth. Problems with the placenta or umbilical cord, though, can cause infants to pass meconium while in the uterus due to the stress caused by lower blood and oxygen supply.
In the past, Texas newborns who experienced fetal problems or asphyxia were often grouped together under the generic term "fetal distress." However, this term does not give an accurate description of what the baby may be experiencing. The Committee on Obstetric Practice of the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) is recommending that the term fetal distress get replaced with non-reassuring fetal status.
Babies born at 34 weeks or more run the risk of developing a breathing condition called persistent pulmonary hypertension at birth. Before babies are born, they receive oxygen from their mother, and most of this oxygen does not reach the lungs because the blood vessels are closed. Once a newborn takes the first few breaths, the blood vessels open. Mothers in Texas should know that with PPHN, the blood vessels do not open entirely.