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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Birth injuries cause permanent disabilities in Texas and in other states every year. Meconium aspiration syndrome, or MAS, is a breathing problem experienced by newborns that can lead to a blocked airway and permanent lung damage in some cases.
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.
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.
Injuries during birth can lead to significant medical difficulties later in life for many children in Texas. When newborn babies have acute symptomatic seizures, they could develop epilepsy later on. There are a number of reasons why newborns might have seizures, but brain injury during birth is one prominent contributor. However, it is not always clear which factors may be more likely to lead to epilepsy.
Erb's Palsy, a form of brachial plexus palsy, occurs in one or two of every thousand births. The brachial plexus is a network of nerves near the neck that link to the nerves of the arm and shoulder. Fortunately for Texas families, most instances of this condition are relatively minor. The child quickly recovers the ability to feel and move the arm, and physical therapy allows the damaged nerves to heal.