Having a child should be a joyous occasion. Unfortunately, while every day sees thousands of healthy babies delivered, some children suffer complications in the pre- or post-natal stages. According to UNICEF, a child is most vulnerable during their first month of life. In 2018, there were approximately 18 deaths per 1,000 live births worldwide.
One of the most common causes of infant health complications and mortality is infant asphyxia. This preventable condition occurs in many parts of the world because of a lack of access to proper medical care. In the United States, however, it is more often a result of medical malpractice or negligence. If your baby suffered because of your Los Angeles doctor’s failure to diagnose infant asphyxia, you have options.
A child’s health and safety are a parent’s priority, and seeing your baby suffer can break your heart. In addition to the emotional turmoil, you might suffer from overwhelming medical and long-term care costs because of your child’s injuries.
You do not have to go through this challenging time alone. A Los Angeles failure to diagnose infant asphyxia lawyer can support you in seeking justice and compensation. While financial awards cannot heal your child’s condition, monetary resources could help you and your family recover and move forward from this devastating experience. Contact Pintas & Mullins Law Firm today at (800) 794-0444 for a free case review with a team member.
Explaining Infant Asphyxia
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), infant asphyxia—also known as birth asphyxia, perinatal asphyxia, or neonatal asphyxia—accounts for about 900,000 deaths each year. The condition involves an infant’s inability to breathe before, during, or immediately following their birth. Many cases are preventable and result from medical negligence.
In the initial stages of asphyxia, the lack of oxygen in the blood and tissues can lead to hypoxia. Unaddressed, this can lead to acidosis, inhibiting heart function, lowering blood pressure, and decreasing blood flow to the brain. This lack of oxygen and blood flow to essential organs can trigger cell damage called necrosis, which can lead to brain damage, paralysis, and heart failure. Infants who survive asphyxia may suffer severe, lifelong complications.
The extent of harm done depends primarily on how long the child went without oxygen, the severity of deprivation, and how quickly they receive proper medical treatment.
Causes of Infant Asphyxia
A qualified medical professional can detect and diagnose infant asphyxia early on by monitoring the child’s vital signs. If the baby shows signs of distress or oxygen deprivation, the doctor should immediately take action to mitigate problems and protect the child.
The most common cause of neonatal asphyxia is umbilical cord complications. For example, the umbilical cord may wrap around a child’s neck during the birthing process, choking them. A doctor should recognize this issue and perform an emergency C-section. If the doctor fails to do so, asphyxia may occur.
Other causes of infant asphyxia include:
- Congenital heart or lung defects.
- Prolonged or challenging delivery.
- Blocked or defective airways.
- Shoulder dystocia (when, after the head emerges in a vaginal birth, the baby’s anterior shoulder becomes stuck above the mother’s pubic bone).
- Premature placental separation.
- Underdeveloped lungs.
- Pinched or prolapsed umbilical cord.
- Mother’s low blood pressure.
- Meconium Aspiration Syndrome.
Conditions Resulting From Infant Asphyxia
A child born with asphyxia may suffer debilitating, permanent medical conditions because of damage to the brain and other organs, including:
- Cerebral palsy
- Seizure disorders or fetal stroke
- Hypoxic Ischemic Encephalopathy
- Developmental and learning disabilities
- Motor disorders
Legal Options After Infant Asphyxia
Most birth asphyxia cases are preventable. The law and medical community expect doctors, nurses, and other medical professionals to uphold a duty of care. Medical professionals have a legal requirement to provide you with service consistent with the standard level of care. If they breach this duty, whether by acting negligently or failing to act, you could hold them legally liable for the harm they cause.
Carefully monitoring the mother and baby’s health in utero, during birth, and immediately after birth is fundamental to the expected standard of care. By promptly detecting, diagnosing, and addressing infant asphyxia, a medical professional could prevent severe injuries or death. Unfortunately, some doctors do not do so. If your Los Angeles doctor failed to diagnose infant asphyxia, Pintas & Mullins Law Firm could help you seek financial compensation for your child’s injuries, pain, and suffering. Call us today for a free case review with a team member.
In building a birth injury medical malpractice case, you must prove the medical provider’s fault. A Los Angeles failure to diagnose infant asphyxia lawyer can support your efforts by gathering evidence, including documentation and statements, to establish the circumstances surrounding the birth and the treatment provided (or lack thereof). An attorney will look to prove the doctor failed to meet their duty of care and act with the necessary urgency and skill required to prevent injury or death.
An attorney will also show how the doctor’s negligence caused economic and noneconomic damages and identify them. Here are some factors that can impact how much compensation you might be eligible to receive:
- The cost of medical bills related to the injury caused by the doctor’s medical negligence or malpractice.
- How much income you have lost if you had to miss work to care for your child because of their injuries.
- If your child’s injury is permanent or will require lifelong treatment.
- If the child was disfigured because of their asphyxiation.
- If the child died because of their injury.
A birth injury lawyer can help you determine what types of damages you may be eligible to receive. Common damages associated with medical malpractice and birth injuries include:
- Current and anticipated medical bills for your child.
- Cost of long-term treatment for injuries related to infant asphyxia.
- Lost wages if you had to decrease hours or stop working because of your child’s condition.
- Emotional pain and suffering.
- Cost of funeral and burial expenses if your child died because of their trauma.
For a free legal consultation with a Failure to Diagnose Infant Asphyxia Lawyer serving Los Angeles, call (800) 794-0444
Pintas & Mullins Law Firm Can Help
If your family has suffered from a healthcare provider’s medical malpractice during the birth of your child, a Los Angeles failure to diagnose infant asphyxia lawyer can help you fight for justice and compensation. Get in touch with the team at Pintas & Mullins Law Firm today to see if you have a case. Call our offices at (800) 794-0444 to get started by scheduling a free consultation.