One of the greatest moments in your life is experiencing the birth of your child. As a parent, you prepare for months in advance of your child’s birth in close partnership with medical staff to ensure your baby is healthy.
Prenatal vitamins, regular prenatal doctor visits, and the delivery of the baby all happen under the supervision of trained physicians, nurses, and other healthcare professionals.
Parents trust their hospitals, doctors and nurses to take the necessary steps to protect babies from foreseeable and preventable complications and injuries. Unfortunately, birth injuries can and do happen as a result of mistakes made by medical professionals.
“Birth injuries” include any type of impairment of the baby’s ability to function normally that happened at or near the time of birth. The most severe birth injuries are those to the baby’s brain which can be caused by lack of blood flow and oxygen to the brain, by trauma, or by infection that reaches the baby’s brain.
Birth injuries can range in severity from mild and temporary injury to serious and permanent injury. Some of the more common birth injuries are:
- Damage to the baby’s brain, sometimes called “hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy” or “HIE”
- Cerebral Palsy
- Brain bleeding or hemorrhage
- Skull fracture
- Brachial plexus injury, or Erb’s Palsy
How to Know if My Baby Has Suffered a Brain Injury?
Parents don’t usually know the signs that a newborn baby has suffered a brain injury or the questions to ask of the medical providers. Sometimes symptoms of injury are fairly clear. Seizures in the newborn period are a common sign that a baby has suffered a brain injury. Seizures can be difficult for a parent to recognize. Seizures can be evaluated with a special study called an EEG to look for abnormal brain activity that results from a brain injury.
If the baby doesn’t breathe on his own after birth or requires resuscitation with oxygen or other medications after birth, these may be a sign that the baby has suffered injury.
If the baby is limp, has low muscle tone, or has difficulty feeding by bottle or by breast-feeding, a brain injury may have occurred.
Problems with other organs of the body including the lungs, heart, liver or kidneys may indicate that these organs were damaged because of lack of oxygen. In a low oxygen situation, these organs will surrender blood and oxygen to the brain in an effort to protect the brain from injury.
There are other medical assessments or tests that can be run by medical professionals to gather evidence of an injury, including testing the blood from the umbilical cord for low pH (acid in the blood) and assessing the baby’s APGAR score after birth. The APGAR score is an assessment of the overall health of the baby in the first few minutes of life based on the baby’s skin color (blue from lack of oxygen or pink from adequate oxygen), heart rate, reflexes, muscle tone, and rate of breathing.
Sometimes symptoms of birth injuries don’t appear until later in the child’s life. Symptoms may include:
- A child’s difficulty reaching key developmental events, such as crawling, standing, or walking
- Poor coordination skills
- Learning challenges or disabilities
Throughout a mother’s entire pregnancy, it is essential to have competent healthcare from the medical professionals that are working with you. However, medical mistakes or negligent medical care can lead to complications for you and your child that can have life-changing consequences.
Trial Lawyers Helping Children with Birth Injuries and Cerebral Palsy
There are many websites with lawyers who call themselves “birth injury lawyers” or “cerebral palsy lawyers.” Choosing a lawyer to represent your child may be the most important decision that you make. Laura Brown of Birth Injury Safety devotes her practice to representing children who have suffered birth injuries and cerebral palsy. Laura investigates the medical care to determine if there were medical mistakes made and if the injuries should have been prevented. She meets with the family members and spends time with the child and his family to understand the extent of the child’s injury and the medical and rehabilitative care and equipment that will be needed throughout the child’s life. Birth Injury Safety handles cases in Texas and in other states throughout the nation. They have obtained many multi-million dollar verdicts and settlements for their clients.
If you are concerned that your child has suffered an injury from medical mistakes, please email or call us for a free consultation to talk about your child’s rights. The Texas birth injury attorneys at Birth Injury Safety are ready to help you seek the compensation you deserve. Call us at (214) 974-4121 or email Laura Brown directly at Brown@TrialFirm.com.