Even after you’ve gone through labor and given birth to a healthy infant, there are risks involved with your baby’s care in the first hours, days, or weeks afterwards. Newborns are fragile after the somewhat traumatic experience of birth, so they require particularly close monitoring and proper care for conditions that may develop. Mistakes in the baby’s neonatal medical care can have major adverse consequences, leading to brain injury, developmental disabilities, and even death.
If your infant suffered post-birth injuries, there may be circumstances suggesting neonatal medical malpractice. These cases involve complex legal issues, so it’s wise to consult with an Atlanta, GA birth injuries lawyer regarding your situation. You may also find it helpful to review some of the top neonatal errors that can cause harm to your newborn.
Respiratory and Resuscitation Errors:
In some cases, a newborn may have difficulty breathing or have an irregular heartbeat. An immediate medical response is absolutely essential to avoid severe oxygen deprivation to the brain. Healthcare providers may make critical errors by:
- Delaying resuscitation;
- Improper insertion of a breathing tube;
- Failure to monitor a breathing assistance machine; and,
- Not administering proper medications in infants that require them for respiratory function, blood flow, and blood pressure.
Improper Treatment of Brain Bleeds:
An intracranial hemorrhage, bleeding in the brain, can cause severe brain damage due to lack of oxygen to the brain. Bleeding in the brain bleeds is especially common in infants born through a complicated delivery, especially when the physician used a forceps or vacuum extractor. One of the most serious complications that can result is Hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy (HIE). According to Newborn Infant Nursing Review, up to 60 percent of affected infants die by 2 years of age or have severe, permanent disabilities.
Some babies are born with infections, such as streptococcus, herpes, E. coli, meningitis, and other conditions. Another dangerous complication that can develop during the first few days of life is hypoglycemia, where the infant’s blood sugar falls to dangerous levels. It’s up to health care providers to diagnose and treat these conditions, but mistakes occur far too often.
Mismanagement of Infant Seizures:
Study published by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) reveals that seizures are a common indicator of neurologic dysfunction in newborns, and they typically occur within the first week after birth. Immediate detection and treatment is essential to prevent brain damage, cerebral palsy, developmental delay, and epilepsy.
Failure to Treat Jaundice:
According to NIH (NIH) statistics, approximately 60 percent of newborns will develop jaundice – high levels of bilirubin – within the first week of life. In many cases, jaundice is not associated with any other medical condition and will not cause harm to the baby. However, there may be underlying pathological issues that must be identified and treated.
Schedule a Free Consultation with an Atlanta Infant Medical Malpractice Lawyer
For more information on your legal remedies after a medical error causes harm to your newborn, please contact the Atlanta, GA Law Offices of Julie A. Rice. We can set up a complimentary case evaluation to review your circumstances and discuss your potential legal remedies.