Medical advances have reduced the rate of birth injuries in infants around the world, but birth injuries such as brain damage in babies still occur in 1-2 of 1,000 births. Unfortunately, these types of injuries can result in long-term physical and neurological complications.
Brain damage in babies can be caused by many factors. By and large, medical professionals work hard to ensure a baby’s well-being and safe entry into this world, but mistakes can and do still take place.
If you suspect that your child incurred a birth brain injury during delivery, we are profoundly sorry. We are also here to help. Mithoff Law’s birth brain injury attorneys have decades of experience representing families in cases involving birth injury brain damage.
Hiring a birth injury attorney for handling cases involving brain damage in babies
Life after having a child is hectic even if your baby is completely healthy. Retaining a birth brain injury lawyer can help you avoid the possibility of going through a complicated settlement process or a trial alone. However, it’s extremely important to look for a birth brain injury lawyer with experience, a record of success, access to subject matter experts, and a good reputation. And with over 40 years of handling cases involving brain damage in babies, Mithoff Law possesses all of these traits and more.
We have won many birth brain damage cases, including a landmark case in which a family sued a hospital and medical personnel for negligence during the birth of their child. The doctor in charge of the birth did not respond to an urgent summons and, as a result, the baby suffered severe brain damage from lack of oxygen. The family was awarded $119 million in an out-of-court malpractice settlement, the largest of its kind in Texas at the time.
Once retained, Mithoff Law will work with you to:
- Determine whether or not you have a case
- Review relevant medical documents and evidence and conduct investigations based on the findings
- Collect witnesses, including subject-matter experts
- Negotiate settlements, file complaints, and lead the litigation process
Determining the root cause of a birth injury such as brain damage requires thorough and rigorous investigation. We work to ensure that your child’s best interests are fully represented and to hold any responsible parties accountable.
Throughout this process, Mithoff Law keeps in mind that you and your family are likely going through one of the hardest experiences of your lifetime. We communicate with our clients regularly and do everything possible to achieve the best possible outcome for your case.
What kind of situations may lead to birth injury lawsuits?
The circumstances that cause birth injuries are varied, but those that give rise to lawsuits are typically due to the negligence on behalf of a hospital, doctor, nurse, or other medical professionals. There are also many types of errors that lead to negligence and the resultant brain damage in babies.
Examples include but are not limited to:
- Failure to take vital signs
- Improper extraction of the baby during delivery (typically caused by the use of forceps or vacuum-assisted vaginal delivery)
- Prescribing the wrong medications or giving improper advice regarding the use of medications during pregnancy
- Incorrect (including premature and delayed) administration or epidurals
- Use of a defective product
Again, determining whether a doctor or other personnel are responsible for a child’s brain damage is typically very difficult. It is very important to retain a birth injury law firm that can conduct an extensive examination of the evidence with the assistance of subject matter experts.
Types of birth injuries and conditions involving brain damage in babies
The vast majority of birth injuries involving brain damage in babies are caused by a lack of oxygen during the delivery process. Brain damage at birth from lack of oxygen can lead to a number of long-term injuries and conditions, including those below.
For a summary of these injuries and conditions, please see our Houston birth injury lawyer page. For a support group related to each issue, please click on the accompanying link.
- Anoxia & Hypoxia
- Hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy (HIE) (incl. Birth Asphyxia & Neonatal encephalopathy)
- Cerebral Palsy (CP)
Early signs of brain damage in babies
Brain damage in babies is not always accompanied by easily recognizable symptoms, especially early on. However, the following symptoms may indicate brain damage in babies. Note that it is essential to seek a diagnosis from a medical professional as soon as possible if you suspect that your child may have suffered a birth injury. Early diagnosis and treatment have been shown to improve a child’s chances of improvement.
Directly after delivery (12-24 hrs after birth):
- Low Apgar Scores for five minutes or more
- Hypotonia (floppiness) or hypertonia (stiffness)
- Breathing issues
- Excessively weak or absent cry
As an infant:
- An unusually large or small skull
- An unusually large forehead
- Distorted facial features
- Difficulty focusing eyes
- Excessive crying and fussiness (esp. when found in conjunction with refusing to eat)
- Being either hyper-alert or excessively lethargic
- Neck stiffness
In some cases, brain damage symptoms will not be present until the baby begins to have trouble reaching developmental milestones. These delays can range from cognitive delays (language ability, concentration, impulse control), to physical (lack of fine motor skills, fatigue/weakness, tremors) and may be either severe or mild.
Again, diagnosis by a physician is essential for determining whether developmental delays are due to brain damage or another issue.
Resources for families needing assistance caring for an infant with brain damage
It is devastating to have your baby diagnosed with brain damage. The following sites and resources are for parents and family members of a child living with birth brain damage.
- Birth Injury Guide: A “comprehensive resource for families coping with birth trauma.”
- United Cerebral Palsy: A corporation that aims to “promote the independence, productivity, and full citizenship of people with cerebral palsy, intellectual and developmental disabilities, and other conditions, through an affiliate network.”
- The Family Caregiver Alliance of the National Center on Caregiving: An alliance for improving “the quality of life for caregivers and the people who receive their care.”
- HIE Help Center: A “one-stop information center” for families and loved ones of children with disabilities caused by HIE.
- The Institutes for the Achievement of Human Potential: A group of nonprofit institutes known for “pioneering work in child brain development” and its “programs to help brain-injured children achieve wellness.”
- Scientific research:
- Pediatrics: The “Official Journal of the American Academy of Pediatrics.”
- Pediatric Critical Care Medicine: The “first scientific, peer-reviewed publication to focus exclusively on pediatric critical care medicine critical care neonatology.”
- The NCBI & Google Scholar repositories of scientific articles.
- Facebook groups:
- Hope for HIE: A closed Facebook group for parents of children with HIE; has subgroups dedicated to different countries and states.
- Coping with HIE/CP: An open Facebook group for parents of children with HIE and CP.
- Newborn Brain Cooling: A closed Facebook group for parents of children who underwent hypothermia therapy.
Houston birth injury brain damage lawyers at Mithoff Law
If your family needs representation for a case involving brain damage in babies due to negligence or malpractice, you need a Houston brain injury lawyer or a medical malpractice lawyer in Houston with experience handling cases involving birth injuries.
Once retained, Mithoff Law will work hard to secure your child’s future wellbeing. With our record of success, strategic advantage, and history of community involvement on their side, clients can rest assured that their case will receive the focus and attention it deserves.
Put your case in the hands of nationally-recognized birth injury lawyers. Contact Mithoff Law by calling 713-654-1122 or contact us online today.
More Helpful Articles by Mithoff Law: