Birth Injury - What are Birth Injuries?

During the birthing process, a baby may suffer a physical injury to his or her brain, often referred to as a “birth injury.” The brain injury may later manifest as cerebral palsy. Causes of injury to the baby’s brain include hypoxia, ischemia, trauma, prematurity and infection. Birth injuries involving damage to the baby’s brain can be caused by lack of oxygen during labor and delivery either by low oxygen content in the blood (hypoxia) or decreased blood flow to the brain (ischemia).

In cases involving lack of oxygen during labor and delivery (also sometimes referred to as “birth asphyxia”, “perinatal asphyxia”, or “intrapartum asphyxia, the baby may show clinical signs of a brain injury after birth. In the newborn period, the baby may be diagnosed with hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy, or neonatal encephalopathy.

Neonatal Encephalopathy is a clinically defined syndrome of disturbed neurological function in the first days of life in a term baby. Neonatal encephalopathy is manifested by difficulty with initiating and maintaining respiration, depressed tone and reflexes, abnormal level of consciousness and often seizures. Hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy is a clinical diagnosis of impaired neurological function caused by lack of oxygen and blood flow near the time of birth.”

A hypoxic-iscemic brain injury suffered at birth may later manifest as cerebral palsy. The brain injury is permanent. Because of the potential for severe and permanent brain injuries, doctors and nurses must make sure the baby has enough oxygen during labor and delivery.. They must carefully monitor the mother and the baby to watch for signs that the baby is not getting enough oxygen. The doctors and nurses use electronic fetal heart monitoring to monitor how well the baby is tolerating labor. If the baby shows signs of lack of oxygen, the doctors and nurses must act quickly to deliver the baby before the baby suffers a brain injury.

What is Birth Trauma?

Birth injuries may also occur as a result of trauma. Doctors may use instruments to assist in delivery - forceps or vacuum extractors. Forceps and vacuum extractors can be dangerous if used improperly or when not indicated. Improper use of forceps and vacuum extractors can result in oxygen deprivation and mechanical trauma to the baby's head. Shoulder dystocia may also result in injuries to the brachial plexus nerves causing Erb's Palsy or Klumpke's Palsy.

Does Your Child Suffer From a Birth Injury?

Treatment of babies and children who have suffered a brain injury or traumatic injury during labor and delivery such as emergency care, neonatal intensive care,prolonged care, medication, physical therapy, and special education, is often a continuous, long-term process that can pose a financial burden to many families. Children with severe birth injuries may never be capable of caring for themselves, and the cost of providing for their security and procuring the best possible quality of life for them can be staggering, as well as emotionally devastating.

If your child suffers from a birth injury that you believe is the result of medical malpractice, contact us We welcome the opportunity to talk with you. Consultations are free. Our dedicated litigation team can provide solid legal guidance and advice as to how you can best protect your child’s interests and obtain the compensation to which you and your child are entitled.

When a child has suffered an injury related to prenatal care, labor or delivery, it is understandable for the parents to have questions about the injury, their legal rights and the legal rights of the child.  We welcome the opportunity to talk with you about what has happened to your child and about your legal rights.  Consultations are free – there is no obligation to call and talk with one of our attorneys.  Contact Us if we can help you.








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Williams & Brown L.L.P.

Bridgeview Center
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7901 Fish Pond Road
Waco, Texas 76710
Telephone: 254.741.6200
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