Dyspnea is the medical term for shortness of breath or breathlessness. While it is a medical condition experienced by all ages, your infant child cannot communicate what is happening to them. Because of this, your obstetrician and pediatrician should carefully monitor your child’s breathing. Often, dyspnea is a symptom of a preventable birth injury.
If your child is experiencing dyspnea, they could require immediate medical attention. Additionally, their condition could be evidence of medical malpractice. If you believe your child suffered a birth injury, contact our Maryland attorney for infant breathlessness caused by a birth injury immediately. Call the Law Offices of Randolph Rice at (410) 694-7291 to speak with an experienced medical malpractice attorney.
Birth Injury Cases in Maryland Involving Infant Breathlessness (Dyspnea)
Breathlessness is often a symptom of hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy (HIE). HIE is an all too common and tragic birth injury that results in a lack of oxygen to the child’s brain. When an infant experiences breathlessness after delivery, it could be an indication of HIE. Your doctor should provide immediate medical attention to your child to help avoid or mitigate permanent brain damage.
Another cause of breathlessness in infants is folic acid anemia. While this is a disorder related to the folic acid in the blood, a common symptom is breathlessness along with paleness, fatigue, and palpitations. Obstetricians should be aware of any folic acid deficiency in their patients. Failing to monitor for this condition could constitute negligence on the part of your treating physician.
In some cases, a mother will pass along a group B strep infection to their child during pregnancy. A doctor is supposed to check expectant mothers for this type of infection, especially towards the end of their pregnancy. If a group B strep infection is misdiagnosed or ignored, the child could suffer a birth injury. Breathlessness is a symptom associated with this condition, along with a bluish tone to the infant’s skin, fever, and blood pressure abnormalities. An infant with group B strep infection could be facing a host of serious medical complications.
Common Causes of Birth Injuries that Result in Breathlessness in Maryland Infants
Birth injuries occur for a variety of reasons. However, they are often preventable and a direct result of the negligent conduct or decisions on the part of your obstetrician, nurse, or hospital medical staff.
Problems Before Birth
A pregnant mother could experience a number of conditions during their pregnancy that could threaten the health of their child if misdiagnosed. For example, if a mother has problems with her blood pressure, such as pre-eclampsia, their child could be endangered. Doctors have a duty to monitor the health and well-being of a pregnant woman. This obligation includes taking a thorough medical history, ensuring no dangerous medication is prescribed and monitoring the vital signs of the child and mother.
Problems During Birth
Many birth injuries are the result of improperly managed deliveries. In most cases, a child is born without any medical complications. However, when a delivery presents difficulties or unforeseen complications, your child’s health depends on the choices and actions of your doctor.
Placental abruption is a condition when the placenta separates from the uterus too early during labor. This will deprive the baby of oxygen and can result in breathlessness or brain damage. In some cases, the baby will become lodged in the birth canal. The decisions your doctor makes at this point could dramatically impact the health of your child. If excessive force is applied when trying to assist the delivery, either with hands or surgical instruments such as forceps, your child could suffer a debilitating brain injury that will affect their breathing and development.
Problems After Birth
When a child is born with a breathing condition, they must receive immediate medical attention and prompt resuscitation. If this does not occur or is delayed, an infant could be deprived of oxygen for too long. A lack of oxygen could result in brain damage or even death. An obstetrician and their medical team should be prepared for any emergency situations. When a doctor acts negligently or fails to act at all, they should be held responsible for any harm that occurs.
Can You Sue in Maryland if Your Child Suffered a Birth Injury Causing Shortness of Breath?
Our Maryland attorney will have to establish that your doctor was negligent in a medical malpractice lawsuit. Proving negligence requires showing two primary elements.
A doctor owes a mother and her expectant child a standard of acceptable medical care. To establish that negligence occurred, our office will have to demonstrate that your doctor’s conduct deviated from that accepted standard. Typically, this is accomplished by showing what a reasonable and prudent doctor of similar experience and training would have done under the same circumstances. There are many decisions a doctor makes during a medical crisis. Just because an outcome was tragic does not mean the decision was wrong. Our job is to prove that what your doctor did was unreasonable. Our office often hires medical experts to offer their opinion on what should have happened.
Next, the negligent conduct must have caused the birth injury. Unfortunately, some outcomes are inevitable, no matter what a doctor did or did not do. In those situations, even if the decision was a mistake, you might not have been the victim of medical malpractice. Our office will gather medical records, testimony, and other evidence to try and directly link your child’s injury to your doctor’s conduct.
Call Our Maryland Attorney for Infant Breathlessness Caused by a Birth Injury for a Free Consultation
If your child suffers a birth injury, you could feel helpless. You and your family could be facing years of medical expenses and therapy. When a doctor’s negligent conduct caused the injury, they should be held liable for your pain and suffering. Contact our Maryland birth injury attorney for infant breathlessness caused by a birth injury if you believe your child was harmed due to a preventable mistake. Call the Law Offices of Randolph Rice at (410) 694-7291 to schedule a free consultation.