Birth Injury Lawyers in Arlington, Texas
It’s an unfortunate fact that 7 out of every 1,000 infants suffer from an injury during birth. In many cases, these injuries are the result of inadequate attention and poor care from medical staff during the delivery process. Many times, a birth injury will result in lifelong medical problems for the infant, reducing their quality of life.
Many birth injuries could be avoided if the doctor or other medical professional acts in a responsible and reasonable manner. If your child has suffered from a birth injury due to medical malpractice, Branch & Dhillon, P.C. can help you claim the compensation you deserve. Our dedicated staff will help you collect expert testimony and medical documents to help you prove the negligence of the staff. Contact us today to schedule a no-obligation consultation for your birth injury case.
Signs of Birth Injury
There are a few tell-tale signs that can alert doctors, nurses, and parents that a newborn has suffered a birth injury soon after it has happened. Here are the most common signs of birth injuries:
- The color of the baby’s skin is pale or blue
- The baby is breathing slowly
- The baby has a slow heart rate
- The baby requires resuscitation immediately after birth
- The baby is sluggish or lethargic
- The baby has difficulty feeding
- The baby is favoring one side of the body
- The baby is displaying odd movements in its face, arms, or legs
- The baby has low APGAR scores
Signs of Birth Injury During Childhood
In uncommon cases, birth injuries may not be readily apparent immediately following birth. As the child grows, developmental problems can signify that damage to the child’s brain or body occurred during birth. Here are the signs of birth injury that may present as the child is growing:
- The child has a learning disability or has difficulty learning
- The child is displaying behavioral problems
- The child’s motor skills are impaired
- The child has a speech disorder
What Causes Birth Injury?
Doctors and nurses owe mothers in labor an extra level of care to make sure that both mother and child stay healthy. They must make sure to monitor the health of the mother and child and take extra measures to address any signs of distress. Here are the most common causes of birth injuries due to medical malpractice:
- Failure to monitor fetal distress. Fetal distress most often occurs when the baby is not getting enough oxygen. Signs that point to fetal distress include an abnormally fast heart rate or a late return to the baseline heart rate after a contraction. A medical professional should constantly be monitoring for fetal distress during labor.
- Head trauma during delivery. Head trauma can be caused by increased pressure on the head or decreased oxygen and blood flow to the baby’s brain. Head trauma is rare and usually the result of medical negligence, such as pulling on the baby’s head.
- Negative side effects of labor-inducing drugs. Labor-inducing drugs can cause stronger contractions, increase the risk of infection to the mother, and cause premature birth. Improper monitoring or usage of labor-inducing drugs often leads to brain damage, nerve damage, spinal deformity, or bone damage to the infant. Medical professionals should know and explain the risks of the drugs before administering them.
- Premature birth. A premature baby will likely suffer from complications due to organs that are not fully developed, fragile blood vessels, and an increased risk of infection. Medical professionals should be prepared to immediately treat any signs of issues due to premature birth.
Most Common Types of Birth Injury
Birth injuries can come in many different forms. The severity of the birth injury depends on the amount of physical strain that was put on the child during birth. Medical malpractice can result in the worsening of these conditions or the heightened risk of a newborn suffering from them. These are the most common types of birth injuries:
Brachial Plexus Palsy
Brachial Plexus Palsy is a type of birth injury that results from damage to the group of nerves that control arm and hand movement. Brachial Plexus Palsy is generally the result of a hard vaginal birth delivery where the child’s shoulder/shoulders become pinched or displaced. This causes the nerves to become pinched, affecting the child’s ability to move their arm and hand. While this condition can occur naturally, it also can be the result of a doctor pulling too hard on the child during delivery.
Caput Succedaneum is a condition where the soft tissue in the baby’s scalp begins to swell. This type of birth injury is common when the baby is born by vacuum extraction. Doctors should know the warning signs of Caput Succedaneum and know how to treat the condition before it gets worse. Unlike the other conditions listed, this one usually is harmless and often resolves on its own.
When too much strain is placed on the baby’s head, it can cause the blood vessels underneath the cranial bone to pop. This results in bleeding and leaves a dark bruise on the baby’s head. Cephalohematoma usually resolves in a few months but can leave the area tender and painful to the touch. This condition is usually a result of the improper use of birth-assisting tools by the doctor or nurse.
The clavicle or Collarbone Fracture
Children born in the breech position are at a high risk of sustaining an injury. The clavicle and collarbone can fracture when too much pressure is applied to the baby’s shoulders. It is up to the delivery doctor to decide whether or not to proceed with a natural birth or to perform a C-section to protect the mother and the child.
Compensation for Birth Injury
Damages that you may be able to recover for your child’s birth injuries include:
- Past, present, and future medical expenses associated with the injury
- Rehabilitation and therapy costs
- Compensation for physical pain and trauma resulting from the injuries
- Lost wages
- Compensation for emotional Anguish
- Costs of special education or in-home care
- Punitive damages
Trying to face the challenges after your child has endured a birth injury can be daunting. The personal injury attorneys at Branch & Dhillon can help you seek the compensation you deserve.
If you are unsure whether or not you have a valid case, do not hesitate to call. Branch & Dhillon, P.C. offers free consultations to go over your case. We also provide our clients with a no-win, no-fee contract.
Contact us today to get started on the road to compensation and recovery.