Law Library – Birth Injuries
Did a Doctor’s Negligence During Delivery Harm Your Child?
Some deliveries are smoother than others—and some, unfortunately, result in a newborn who has suffered severe brain damage or some other neurological or physical injury. A botched delivery can cause severe mental impairment, paralysis, cerebral palsy, or some other condition that potentially requires decades of treatments and therapy. If you can show that a doctor or nurse was directly responsible for your child's injury, you may have the grounds to file a medical malpractice claim.
Birth Injuries Can Manifest Themselves in Various Ways
As a general rule, the cause of the most serious birth injuries is hypoxia—the inability of the newborn infant to get enough oxygen. As a baby emerges from the womb, it must make the transition from obtaining its oxygen supply via the umbilical cord to breathing with its own lungs. For this reason, any complications during birth that prevent the baby from making this transition can result in hypoxia—and hypoxia can result in:
- Cerebral palsy, a condition in which the child loses control of its motor functions because of brain damage. Cerebral palsy cannot be cured, and often confines the affected individual to a wheelchair for the rest of his or her life. At the very least, the child will have serious developmental issues, and will require an increased level of medical care.
- Partial or total paralysis. If the lack of oxygen has an especially severe effect on the newborn's cerebellum, rather than its cerebrum, the result can be total paralysis of the legs or one side of the body (what is known as paraplegia), or paralysis of all voluntary muscle functions from the neck down (quadriplegia).
- Learning or personality disorders. The brain is a very delicate organ, and scientists are still learning how deprivation of oxygen during birth can affect a child's prospects later in life. Hypoxia during delivery can have a spectrum of consequences down the road, ranging from mental illness to mental retardation.
One of the things that makes hypoxia during birth so insidious is that the effects may not manifest themselves for months or years—long after the child has been discharged from the hospital with a “clean” bill of health. Only later do the parents realize that their child experienced hypoxia during birth, by which time it's much more difficult to file a medical malpractice claim.
Was Your Child Injured During Birth? Call the Law Firm of Charles Dunn
If you suspect that your child suffered a lack of oxygen during birth—or any other injury that can be traced to the malpractice of the attending doctors or nurses—call Texas birth injury attorney Charles Dunn at 888-684-6880 for a free consultation. Charles will advise you whether or not you have a viable case, and what can be done to make you and your child financially whole.