In some unfortunate cases, parents learn that their newborn child has developed medical complications related to asphyxia in the birthing process. Asphyxia occurs when a newborn does not receive enough oxygen either before, during, or immediately after their birth. Medical negligence is often the cause of asphyxia in the birthing process. If your child suffered from a reduced oxygen supply during their birth, you may have the legal right to pursue justice and receive compensation for their injuries. Learn how a Los Angeles asphyxia lawyer can help you understand how you can seek justice. Call Pintas & Mullins Law Firm today at (800) 794-0444 for a free case evaluation.
Birth asphyxia occurs either immediately before, during, or after the birthing process when a baby does not receive enough oxygen. Medical practitioners such as doctors, nurses, and other medical professionals have a duty and responsibility to ensure that they provide appropriate medical care to a mother and infant during birth. There are specific guidelines established by the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) and the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology (ACOG) that directly address asphyxia during the birthing process.
Causes of Birth Asphyxia
There are several reasons which may cause birth asphyxia in an infant during the birthing process. Many of these causes include the direct negligence of a medical professional.
Failure to Appropriately Monitor the Pregnancy
Throughout a woman’s pregnancy, doctors have a responsibility to monitor and diagnose possible complications for both the mother and child. Certain medical conditions that develop in the mother can be a sign that the infant is in some sort of distress. The failure to appropriately monitor and diagnose any serious medical conditions in a mother’s pregnancy could lead to possible asphyxia in a newborn. Examples include placenta previa, pre-eclampsia, and eclampsia. Additionally, any pregnancy that is past full term may also result in an infant not receiving enough oxygen. These medical conditions must receive careful monitoring and must receive a correct diagnosis so that appropriate measures can occur during the birthing process to avoid any medical injuries to the mother or child, including asphyxia.
Failure to Diagnose or Treat Fetal Distress
All nurses, doctors, obstetricians, and other medical professionals involved in the delivery process should have appropriate medical training in order to identify, diagnose, and treat fetal distress that results in birth asphyxia. The mother and infant should receive appropriate monitoring at all stages of delivery in order to determine whether or not any warning signs of asphyxia develop. When a physician or nurse fails to immediately recognize or treat an erratic or unstable fetal heart rate, or fails to recognize that a mother’s oxygen levels were severely compromised in some way, the negligence of that medical professional may lead to serious medical complications for the infant resulting from asphyxia.
Failure to Order a Cesarean Section
In certain cases, when medical complications arise during the birthing process, a doctor should follow established medical protocol and order a Caesarean section (C-section). Examples of when the medical community has determined that a C-section should occur include when the umbilical cord wraps around the baby’s neck increasing the risk of strangulation. If a doctor fails to appropriately order a C-section in cases where the established medical protocol would necessitate ordering one, the medical practitioner’s negligence may cause severe or catastrophic injuries to an infant resulting from asphyxia.
For a free legal consultation with a Asphyxia Lawyer serving Los Angeles, call (800) 794-0444
Signs of Birth Asphyxia
Some of the common signs of birth asphyxia include the following:
- Falling, erratic or unstable fetal heart rate
- Failure to identify any movement of the fetus
- Pressure on the umbilical cord
- Low blood pressure of the mother
- Pale skin of the infant
- The infant has difficulty breathing
- Bluish tint to the skin of the infant
- Weak muscle tone in the infant
- Infant lethargy and weakness
- Labored or weak breathing of the infant
- Low heart rate of the infant
- High levels of acid in the blood of the infant
- Infant seizures
- Swelling of the brain in the infant (cerebral edema)
If your infant had any of these medical signs following their birth, consider how a Los Angeles asphyxia lawyer at Pintas & Mullins Law Firm can help you pursue justice on behalf of your newborn infant.
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Diagnosis of Birth Asphyxia
If a newborn suffered from any asphyxia, medical professionals should immediately diagnose and treat any resulting injuries in the newborn. Along with the signs listed above, the doctor or nurse should perform an Apgar test, which will appropriately evaluate a newborn infant for asphyxia. If the newborn’s Apgar score is between 0 and 3, it remains likely that they suffered from birth asphyxia and should receive additional diagnostic imaging.
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Complications Resulting from Birth Asphyxia
As noted by the National Institutes of Health (NIH), the complications resulting from birth asphyxia remain largely dependent on the time that the infant suffered a deprivation of oxygen and their normal breathing returns. Some of the complications and medical conditions that may result from birth asphyxia may include the following:
- Cerebral palsy
- Mental retardation
- Cognitive and behavioral alterations including hyperactivity
- Attention deficit disorders
- Low intelligence scores
- Psychotic disorders
Unfortunately, research shows that those infants that suffer from asphyxia have a five times greater risk of developing schizophrenia over their lifetime and double the risk of developing a psychotic disorder.
Consider How a Los Angeles Asphyxia Lawyer Can Help You
If your infant suffered from asphyxia either before, during or immediately after the birthing process, find out how a medical malpractice lawyer can help you determine your legal rights, and how to move forward to receive justice as well as compensation for your infant’s serious medical injuries relating to a healthcare provider’s negligence. Contact Pintas & Mullins Law Firm at (800) 794-0444 for your free and confidential consultation.
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