Medical malpractice can occur in a variety of situations, but injuries related to childbirth and delivery are particularly devastating to families. Brachial Plexus injuries are one of the most common types of Texas birth injuries. Approximately one or two of every 1000 babies will suffer this type of injury. In many cases, this injury is preventable and occurs as a result of a healthcare provider’s negligence. In these cases, the doctor, nurse, or other healthcare professional may be held liable for their negligence.
The brachial plexus is a bundle of nerves near the shoulder, arm, and hand that attach to the spinal cord. When these nerves experience stretching, the individual may suffer burning, shock-like pain, numbness, or weakness. In some cases, the pain does not last for an extended period and can resolve with therapy or over time. However, severe brachial plexus injuries are associated with the inability to use specific muscles in the elbows, shoulders, and toes.
There are four main types of brachial plexus injuries which include, neurapraxia, neuroma injuries, rupture injuries, and avulsion injuries. Brachial plexus diagnosis can be complicated because the symptoms may overlap. Although these injuries can occur at any time, they most commonly occur during birth. Babies’ shoulders can get stuck and stretched behind the pubic bone, and the subsequent strain often results in stretching and tearing.
Medical professionals may be responsible in cases where they fail to estimate the weight of the infant accurately, fail to notice that the baby’s shoulders are too large to fit through the mother’s birth canal, and in instances where they apply excessive traction to the infant’s neck during delivery.
For example, recently, a state appellate court issued an opinion in a lawsuit stemming from a Texas brachial plexus injury. In this healthcare liability case, the Supreme Court of Texas determined which standard applies to emergency medical care that a patient receives in a hospital’s obstetrical unit. A pregnant woman received prenatal care from the doctor throughout her first and second pregnancy. The woman was diagnosed with gestational diabetes, which is often associated with larger babies. The doctor advised the woman that she should be induced to avoid and minimize complications. During delivery, the doctor discovered that the baby’s shoulders were stuck against the woman’s pubic bone. The doctor performed various maneuvers to dislodge the baby, and this caused the baby to suffer permanent brachial plexus injuries. The woman filed an ordinary negligence lawsuit against the doctor, and the doctor moved for a directed verdict arguing that he was not liable under the willful and wanton standard because he was providing emergency care. The appellate court found that the lower court incorrectly charged the jury on the appropriate standard of care and remanded the case for a new trial.
Has Your Child Suffered a Birth Injury Because of a Negligent Texas Physician?
If you or someone you know has suffered injuries because of a negligent healthcare provider, you should contact the experienced Texas medical malpractice attorneys at Carabin Shaw. We have extensive experience handling and successfully resolving a wide range of medical malpractice lawsuits. Our attorneys can help you determine whether your child’s injuries were the result of a negligent medical provider and help you get the compensation you deserve. Contact our office at 800-862-1260 for a free initial consultation with an attorney at our law firm.