The birth of your baby is one of the happiest days of your life. That is, unless your baby suffers a birth injury. Although they happen infrequently, birth injuries are often caused by the negligent care of a doctor or medical team. The mother of a baby injured at birth has filed a lawsuit against the doctor and hospital, claiming her daughter’s injury was due to improper medical care. The lawsuit names Roseland Community Hospital, and a doctor, and is seeking damages in excess of $50,000.
Hypoxia in Newborns
Hypoxia is a lack of oxygen to the brain. In newborns, it is usually the result of aspiration that takes place in utero. This can happen with a difficult or prolonged birth. When the baby suffers reduced oxygen intake for longer than a few minutes, brain damage may occur. The infant may suffer from various types of brain injuries including the possibility of cerebral palsy.
Increased Risk for Hypoxia
There are a number of reasons why hypoxia may occur. The mother may have a complication that causes a decrease of oxygen to the baby. Pre-eclampsia, placental abruption, intrauterine growth restriction, or hemorrhage, can all be the cause of lowered oxygen to the baby. These are all pregnancy complications that can be diagnosed by a doctor. Once diagnosed, they can be treated and often resolved to reduce the risk to the baby.
Failure to Diagnose a Serious Problem
In this case, the mother states that the doctor failed to diagnose or evaluate any conditions that could have caused oxygen deprivation to the baby. The failure to provide appropriate care allowed the baby to suffer hypoxia, and brain damage resulted. Had the doctor properly diagnosed the problem, and treated it, the baby may not have suffered a serious injury. Instead, the lack of care resulted in a permanent disability.
Treatment of Hypoxia
Hypoxia should be quickly diagnosed immediately upon birth, if it has not already been detected. Hypothermia cooling must be done quickly after birth, within the first several hours. The sooner this therapy is done, the better the potential outcome will be. Cooling the brain is found to improve the baby’s condition and may help increase brain function. In this case, the mother states that the baby may not have been adequately treated for hypoxia. This could have worsened the child’s long-term prognosis.
In this situation, as in many others, the doctor may have made some mistakes. Failure to make a diagnosis leads to the inability to provide proper treatment. This can cause serious harm to the patient, as it did to this infant. The child will never have a normal existence, and will always require expensive medical care for the duration of her life. Medical treatment and ongoing care for disabled children is extremely expensive. The mother is seeking compensation to cover these costs, and for the loss of a regular life.
If your infant was injured at birth, you may be entitled to compensation for damages caused by negligent medical care. Contact the experienced lawyers at Levin & Perconti to learn more about your options.
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