Seeing your newborn child for the first time feels like a miracle. If your child is limp, quiet, and not able to breathe normally, that miracle feels like a curse. When your doctor’s negligence caused the perinatal asphyxia birth injury your child suffered, the heartbreak is more intense.
The attorneys and staff at the Law Offices of Randolph Rice have years of experience representing parents in complex litigation regarding birth injuries. Our Maryland attorney for perinatal asphyxia during birth is committed to holding medical professionals responsible when they make mistakes that harm a newborn infant. Call (410) 694-7291 to schedule a free consultation to review your case and options.
What is Perinatal Asphyxia in Infants?
Perinatal asphyxia occurs when your infant is unable to breathe normally immediately before, during, or after their birth. The condition describes a significant decrease in the amount of oxygen and nutrients the child is receiving or a complete restriction of oxygen.
Often, a child born while experiencing perinatal asphyxia is quiet and limp. A decrease in oxygen should be noticed if the infant’s vital signs are being properly monitored during the birthing process. In some situations, an emergency c-section is necessary to remove the baby from the mother as soon as possible. Whether the child was delivered via a cesarean section or through vaginal birth, it is critical that the attending doctor and medical staff work to get a child suffering from perinatal asphyxia breathing again as fast as possible. Any delay in treatment could result in permanent brain damage or death.
Reasons to Sue for Perinatal Asphyxia in an Infant in Maryland
Various circumstances can reduce or deprive a child of oxygen at the time before and during childbirth.
Umbilical Cord Complications
A common reason for perinatal asphyxia is complications associated with the umbilical cord, such as umbilical cord prolapse. A prolapse occurs when the umbilical cord comes out of the uterus before or with the baby. This condition compresses the umbilical cord, restricting the flow of oxygen. If the child is experiencing shoulder dystocia or is lodged within the mother’s pelvic bone, the umbilical cord could become constricted, depriving the baby of oxygen. A similar condition could occur if the baby is in a breech position. In all these situations, a difficult delivery should be foreseeable. If a doctor is properly monitoring the pregnancy, then the medical staff should be prepared for eventualities such as perinatal asphyxia. If your child is harmed because of a lack of oxygen, and your doctor failed to take reasonable precautions or monitor your child’s condition, their conduct could constitute medical malpractice.
In some cases, the placenta separates from the uterine wall, resulting in severe bleeding for the mother and a loss of blood and oxygen to the child. This condition, known as placental abruption, presents a danger to both the child and mother. If the physician fails to address the situation immediately, both are likely to suffer harm.
The Mother’s Medical Condition
The mother’s medical condition could cause perinatal asphyxia. If the mother is suffering from high blood pressure or pre-eclampsia that goes undiagnosed during the pregnancy, the flow of blood and oxygen to the developing fetus could be restricted.
In the above situations, as well as other instances, an emergency c-section could be required to protect the child’s health – especially if the child is not receiving any oxygen. Time is of the essence in a case of perinatal asphyxia, so any delay in either ordering or performing the cesarean section could result in severe harm or even death.
In addition to conditions affecting the baby and the mother, other medical errors could occur that cause perinatal asphyxia. In some instances, the improper administration of anesthesia could substantially lower a mother’s blood pressure, directly impacting the flow of blood and oxygen to the baby.
While perinatal asphyxia presents a serious danger to the child, many complications that cause the condition could be either managed or eliminated with proper medical care and monitoring. Unfortunately, medical professionals are sometimes careless or make catastrophic mistakes in their actions or decisions. When any of the above conditions are misdiagnosed or ignored, your child is more likely to experience perinatal asphyxia.
Medical Malpractice in Maryland and Perinatal Asphyxia Birth Injuries
When your doctor or other medical professional fails to recognize the possibility that your baby is being deprived of oxygen before, during, or after delivery, they could be guilty of medical malpractice.
A child who experiences perinatal asphyxia is likely to suffer a brain injury. Such injuries often require ongoing physical and medical care for the rest of their lives. These types of injuries are incredibly costly, both financially and emotionally. In Maryland, victims of medical malpractice are entitled to recover economic and non-economic damages. This allows families to be compensated for medical expenses, rehabilitation costs, lost income, and childcare.
In addition to the actual financial burdens inflicted by the infant’s injury, victims can be compensated for the emotional and mental stress they have suffered. While these types of damages are more challenging to calculate, our Maryland medical malpractice attorneys will use the circumstances of your situation and case law to determine a justifiable amount to request.
Call Our Maryland Attorney for Perinatal Asphyxia During Birth for a Free Appointment
If your child suffered a birth injury due to the negligent conduct of your obstetrician or any other medical personnel, contact our Maryland birth injury attorney for perinatal asphyxia during birth immediately. Medical malpractice litigation is often complicated, and you need our experienced lawyers fighting for your rights. Call the Law Offices of Randolph Rice at (410) 694-7291 to schedule a free consultation and discuss your options.