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Texas Birth Injury Lawyers

The birth of a child is a joyfully anticipated miracle in most families. Such a moment can quickly dissolve into overwhelming emotional trauma when a birth injury occurs. Most birthing injuries today are preventable through conscientious prenatal care and attentive monitoring and care of mother and child during labor. In fact, infant mortality rates caused by birth trauma decreased by 88 percent from 1970 through 1985 because of the technological advances of ultra-sound, fetal monitoring, c-sections and less use of forceps and vacuum delivery. Obstetricians must meet acceptable medical standards set by their profession when handling pregnant mothers and delivering babies. A failure to do so can cause birth injuries, which when severe, devastate families and in the worst cases result in a lifetime of assistive care for the child. At Bush Lewis, our Beaumont birth injury attorneys handle cases involving birth injury medical malpractice to try to help families recover for preventable birth trauma.

Birth injury statistics

The National Healthcare Quality Report, AHRQ, DHHS, 2003 indicated that in the year 2000:
  • Approximately 28,000 birth injuries occurred in the United States
  • 6.68 birth trauma injuries occur per 1,000 live births
  • A higher number of birth injuries occurred in U.S. not-for-profit hospitals at 7.8 per 1,000
  • Greater incidences of birth injuries occurred in large hospitals with 8.57 per 1,000 in hospitals with 300 to 499 beds and 7.1 per 1,000 in hospitals with over 500 beds

Common types of birth injury

When concerned parents notice that their child is not developing physically, emotionally or mentally as expected, this is often the first indication of birth injury. Common types of birth injury include:

  • Cerebral palsy (CP). Cerebral palsy is a motor control disorder that can be caused by brain damage during child birth. Lack of oxygen sometimes damages the part of the brain called the cerebrum. Such damage can result in limited abilities for coordinated movement and muscular-skeletal problems with posture. In more severe cases, perception, cognitive awareness and communication abilities are diminished. Different types of cerebral palsy exist, such as CP affecting only one limb, three limbs, all four limbs, only the lower extremities or only one side of the body. Cerebral palsy is a lifelong condition and while there is no cure, some cases may be managed with physical therapy and in certain instances with athletic training. The involuntary muscle contractions or spasms associated with cerebral palsy can also develop into arthritis or tendonitis. A cerebral palsy lawyer in Texas can help you determine whether a birth injury lawsuit is merited and the types of damages you might recover for your child.

  • Brachial plexus damage resulting in Erb’s Palsy, also called brachial plexus palsy. The brachial plexus is a bundle of nerves behind the collar bone and between the neck and shoulder. A damaged brachial plexus can create a limp arm, lack of muscle tone in the arm, decreased sensation in the arm and hand, and paralysis known as brachial plexus palsy or Erb’s palsy. During an abnormal labor or child birth such as breech deliveries, excessive pulling can damage the brachial plexus nerves. Larger than average babies are at greater risk for brachial plexus injury. Mothers with small pelvises and prolonged labors are also more prone to this type of birth injury. Frequently, the severity of the injury may not be apparent until months later, and in certain cases, surgery may be necessary for treating the condition and restoring function.

  • Klumpke’s palsy. Also a type of brachial plexus injury, Klumpke’s palsy specifically refers to muscle paralysis in the forearm and hand. This type of birth injury occurs when the lower brachial plexus nerves are damaged, and damage can occur during birth in the same way as Erb’s palsy occurs.

  • Kernicertus. Not effectively controlling jaundice after birth can cause fever and brain damage, called Kernicertus. Unlike adults, baby bodies lack the development to counteract extensive jaundice which can lead to brain damage. Doctors should be able to diagnose jaundice and treat it before it gets out of control and causes Kernicertus.

Physicians’ responsibility to prevent birth injury

Today, much of an obstetrician’s care is preventative in nature. Monitoring the pregnancy to address conditions such as hypertension or gestational diabetes and accurately determining the baby’s due date are important actions for normal deliveries. Childbirths where babies are abnormally large or by contrast are premature are often subject to birth injury. Failing to monitor a mother in labor to detect fetal distress can result in oxygen deprivation which causes brain damage. However, a timely performed c-section can avoid most of these problems and a doctor who fails to diagnose and perform a necessary c-section may have committed a medical mistake that is medical malpractice.

Birth injury cases, as in any type of medical malpractice, require the high-level expertise and extensive resources of an experienced birth injury lawyer. The attorneys at Bush Lewis have decades of experience and the in-depth knowledge and skills it takes to pursue the complicated facts of birth injury claims successfully.

Discuss birth injury in a free consultation

If you are a concerned parent who suspects that birth injury has seriously harmed your child—whether involving Erb’s palsy, cerebral palsy, or some other birth injury disorder, get a medical opinion, and then get a legal opinion. Bush Lewis birth injury attorneys are glad to answer your questions and provide a case evaluation at no charge. Contact our Beaumont medical malpractice attorneys today or call 409-835-3521. We handle cases in Beaumont, Orange and Port Arthur, as well as throughout Jefferson, Orange, Hardin, Newton and Jasper counties and the Eastern District of Texas Divisions of Marshall, Tyler and Lufkin, Texas.

Know This Before An Accident

No one plans to have an accident and no one expects to sustain a serious injury or lose a loved one to death from someone else's actions or mistake. It helps to at least have heard what experienced lawyers say you can do to ease the situation. At Bush Lewis, we think there are some helpful guidelines that we recommend to you. Our lawyers suggest: Learn more.