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Birth Injury? How a Personal Injury Lawyer Can Help You

Birth Injury? How a Personal Injury Lawyer Can Help You

Has Your Child Been Injured During the Birthing Process?

A birth injury refers to any injury that occurs to a baby during the labor or birthing process. Statistics show that birth injuries occur in approximately 7 out of every 1,000 births in the US. Many of these injuries are preventable and a parent or child can bring a malpractice action against the responsible party or parties.

The negligence of a physician, nurse or other hospital staff who fail to adequately respond to complications during delivery are often the cause of birth injuries. Whenever a birth injury occurs, the family should consult with a Houston personal injury lawyer to explore possible legal options.

The following are some common examples of birth injuries:

Cerebral Palsy

Cerebral palsy is a neurological disability that can result from the lack of oxygen or by the improper use of forceps. Symptoms include an inability to control muscles or nerve functions. Unfortunately, the condition is permanent. Usually, the symptoms are detected not long after birth, but other signs may not be manifested for a year of more.

The condition can be the result of a health care provider’s failure to timely deliver the child if it is being deprived of oxygen by being in the birth canal for too long.

Not properly using forceps during delivery can also damage the child’s brain.

Erb’s Palsy

Erb’s palsy is also known as brachial plexus injury, a condition resulting in arm weakness or paralysis. It is typically caused by tugging on the arm during a breech delivery that stretches the nerves surrounding the shoulder.

When all 5 nerves of the brachial plexus are damaged, it is called a complete brachial plexus injury and arm paralysis can result especially if there is an avulsion, which is where the nerve root is cut off from the spinal cord. If the nerve is damaged, it is an incomplete avulsion and the child’s chances of recovering completely or nearly so are much better.

Hypoxic Ischemic Encephalopathy

This is a condition in which the brain is totally deprived of oxygen. Brain cells cannot survive within five minutes of being deprived of oxygen resulting in a condition called hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy. Respiratory problems, a ruptured blood vessel, and difficulties during general anesthesia are often the culprits. Death is a real possibility or the child may end up mentally retarded or have significant developmental delays.

Who is Responsible?

Physicians and nurses are obligated to adhere to a certain standard of care. For physicians, this is the conduct of a reasonable physician practicing under similar conditions and circumstances in that particular area. The physician can be held liable for the actions or omissions of his or her staff, including nurses, interns, residents and other physicians under his or her supervision during the delivery or stay in the hospital.

Whenever a birth injury occurs, the child’s family consults with a Houston personal injury lawyer. Insurance matters, timelines, and the court and state rules and laws for filing a lawsuit can be complicated. The resources and knowledge of a Houston personal injury attorney can assist you through an incredibly difficult time.

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