When you first hold your baby in your hands, you want to see a healthy and happy infant. If your baby is struggling to breathe or is exhibiting rapid breaths, it could be something harmless or a symptom of a more serious medical condition. Unfortunately, when it is symptomatic of a more severe problem, it is commonly the result of your doctor’s negligence. When birth injuries are the result of medical malpractice, you deserve to be compensated for the harm you and your child endured.
A birth injury could have a devastating effect on the child and family. Rapid breathing is often a sign of a more serious problem. If your child suffered a birth injury because of the negligent conduct or decisions of your medical professionals, contact our Maryland attorney for instances of rapid breathing in infants. Call the Law Offices of Randolph Rice at (410) 694-7291 to talk with an experienced medical malpractice attorney.
Common Causes of Rapid Breathing in Infants in Maryland
There are a number of reasons why an infant’s breathing could appear rapid. Some are normal occurrences and offer no cause for alarm. A common cause of rapid breathing in an infant is an infection in the child’s respiratory tract. This condition could be the result of pneumonia or another similar illness. However, there are instances where rapid breathing is evidence of a birth injury or medical malpractice on the part of your obstetrician.
Some infants suffer from what is known as wet lung, or transient tachypnea. This condition occurs soon after birth, usually within a few hours after the delivery. A baby experiencing wet lung will exhibit rapid breaths. In the womb, a baby’s lungs are filled with fluid. During most labors, the fluid typically drains, preparing the child’s lungs for taking in air. However, there are occasions when this does not happen, especially if a doctor performs a cesarean section. This condition is also common in mothers that have asthma or diabetes. When a doctor fails to properly treat a mother during her pregnancy or is negligent in diagnosing the child’s condition, transient tachypnea could lead to more serious medical consequences.
Respiratory Distress Syndrome
In some situations, a child’s lungs do not inflate because of a lack of surfactant, which serves as a protective layer for the baby’s lungs. This condition is known as respiratory distress syndrome and is prevalent in premature infants. A child will exhibit a bluish skin color, especially around the lips, accompanied by a combination of rapid breathing and interruptions of breath. Without immediate medical attention, respiratory distress syndrome could result in permanent brain damage. It is crucial that your physician and their medical team carefully monitor your infant’s breathing from the moment of delivery.
Rapid breathing is also a symptom of another serious medical condition: meningitis. Meningitis occurs when the meninges, or outer covering of the brain, becomes inflamed. Typically, this is caused by a bacterial infection in the baby. Your obstetrician should be aware of the symptoms, including rapid breathing, neck rigidity, fever, and aggravation from exposure to light.
Persistent Pulmonary Hypertension of the Newborn
A common symptom of persistent pulmonary hypertension of the newborn (PPHN) is rapid breathing. This condition occurs when the ductus arteriosus blood vessel fails to close after the birth of the child. Because of this failure, the baby’s lungs continue to fill with blood, restricting the baby from receiving adequate levels of oxygen. If not properly treated, this condition will result in damage to the child’s brain and other organs.
Proving Medical Practice in Maryland if Your Child is Exhibiting Rapid Breathing
Not every case of rapid breathing is the result of negligent conduct by a medical professional. Likewise, not every mistake made by a doctor constitutes medical malpractice. Our experienced Maryland attorney will have to examine the circumstances in your case to establish that your child was the victim of a preventable medical mistake.
There are two essential elements to prove in a medical malpractice claim. First is that a medical professional deviated from the acceptable standard of care. This means that a reasonably prudent medical professional with similar training would have done something different under the same circumstances. If your doctor made a reasonable decision that resulted in a horrible consequence, then it probably does not constitute medical malpractice. Our Maryland attorney will turn to expert medical opinions to try to show that the decision and actions taken in your case deviated from the acceptable options available.
The deviation of acceptable medical care must have also directly caused the injury. Unfortunately, in some situations, the medical outcome cannot be changed – no matter what a doctor tries to do. Therefore, if the mistake did not directly cause the harm, your doctor cannot be held liable for any damages. However, if a medical professional’s negligence caused the injury to your child, you are entitled to seek compensation for the harm you and your child suffered.
Call Our Maryland Attorney for Instances of Rapid Breathing in an Infant for a Free Consultation
Rapid breathing in a child could be a symptom of a harmless medical condition or evidence of a preventable birth injury. When a trusted medical professional makes an avoidable mistake or a negligent decision, severe and potentially deadly consequences could occur. If your child’s irregular breathing is due to a birth injury caused by the actions of your doctor or healthcare provider, contact our Maryland birth injury attorney for instances of rapid breathing in infants. Call the Law Offices of Randolph Rice at (410) 694-7291 to schedule a free consultation to review your legal options.