Hyperbaric oxygen therapy is a medical procedure in which a patient is placed into a pressurized chamber. The chamber is supposed to help heal damaged tissue by increasing the amount of oxygen in a patient’s system. While the procedure is used for many reasons in Maryland, it remains limited in its application for newborns.
If your doctor has determined that a hyperbaric oxygen tank is necessary to treat your baby, it might be an indication that there is a significant birth injury. In some cases, it is evidence of negligent conduct on the part of your doctor or their medical team. You should contact the Law Offices of Randolph Rice if your doctor has prescribed hyperbaric oxygen therapy as it could be a sign of medical malpractice. Call (410) 694-7291 to schedule a free consultation.
Is Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy Used to Treat Infants in Maryland After Birth Injuries?
The most common use of hyperbaric oxygen therapy is to treat a lack of oxygen to the brain, a condition known as hypoxia. This treatment consists of pumping oxygen into a pressured chamber, which allows the body to absorb more oxygen than usual. Ideally, this procedure should mitigate or eliminate brain damage that results from hypoxia.
Some Maryland obstetricians might use this treatment if an infant suffered an injury during birth that restricted the flow of oxygen to their brain. Hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy and hypoxia are two common complications of some birth injuries that deprive an infant of oxygen.
A nuchal cord occurs when a baby’s umbilical cord wraps around the child’s neck or head – restricting the flow of oxygen to the brain. This condition is typically caused by the child’s movements in utero and should be diagnosed by a doctor. Additionally, a breech birth could result in a child suffering a loss of oxygen if the baby is too large or becomes lodged in the birth canal. When an obstetrician makes a critical error in treating a breech birth, a nuchal cord, or any other condition that limits oxygen to the brain, they might attempt to address the injury through hyperbaric oxygen therapy.
Do Birth Injuries or Infant Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy Mean There Was Medical Malpractice in Maryland?
Not every birth injury or attempted treatment is evidence that your doctor was negligent or committed medical malpractice. Some births present unforeseen difficulties and problems that the best doctors cannot manage. However, this is not very common. More often than not, when a child suffers a birth injury, it is the direct result of errors made by the doctor or their medical staff. When a medical professional’s actions or decisions deviate from the acceptable standard of a care a reasonable person expects to receive, their conduct could constitute negligence and medical malpractice.
Is Infant Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy Safe for Maryland Infants?
Unfortunately, there have not been sufficient studies in the United States to determine how effective hyperbaric oxygen therapy is for treating infants. The lack of studies does not mean that it is a dangerous procedure. In fact, there may be some benefits in increasing the oxygen levels a child receives. In some cases, it might be possible to mitigate or reverse some of the effects of a birth injury.
However, if the treatment is administered negligently, you would be entitled to seek compensation through a medical malpractice lawsuit. Additionally, even if hyperbaric oxygen therapy is done correctly, it is likely a sign that your infant suffered an avoidable birth injury.
What Types of Damages are Available in Maryland for Birth Injuries related to Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy?
If your child experienced a birth injury that resulted in the use of hyperbaric oxygen therapy to mitigate the harm, your child could have been the victim of medical malpractice. If this is the case, you are entitled to file a lawsuit to seek compensation for your damages.
In nearly every medical malpractice lawsuit in Maryland, our attorneys will seek to recover medical expenses, lost income, and pain and suffering. You should not be obligated to pay for the cost of hyperbaric oxygen therapy if the birth injury was the result of your doctor’s negligence. Additionally, our office will seek to recover the expense of any further medical treatment your child might require.
Pain and suffer encompass many types of recoverable harm. For instance, there is the emotional distress a parent experiences watching their newborn suffer. Additionally, if your child’s injury is severe or life-altering, such as cerebral palsy or another developmental disability, they should be compensated for their discomfort or mental distress.
A parent could recover for any wages they lost while caring for their child. However, it is possible for an injured infant to also recover for potential lost income. While your newborn is not employed, if the injury is permanent, their ability to earn an income in the future could be limited or nonexistent. Our Maryland attorney will turn to medical and financial experts to determine how your child’s injury will impact their future earning capacity.
Call Our Maryland Attorney if Your Baby Needs Infant Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy for a Free Consultation
If you are pregnant, you anticipate that the birth of your child will not include any significant and dangerous complications. If your doctor recommends administering hyperbaric oxygen therapy immediately after the delivery of your child, it could be a strong indication that a preventable mistake was made that injured your baby. By contacting our Maryland birth injury attorney if your baby needs infant hyperbaric oxygen therapy, we will be able to investigate your doctor’s actions and decisions. If you believe your infant is the victim of medical malpractice, call the Law Offices of Randolph Rice at (410) 694-7291 to schedule a free consultation.