Maryland Attorney for Persistent Pulmonary Hypertension of the Newborn (PPHN)

When a mother gives birth, she cannot wait to hold her newborn. When that infant is struggling for breath and turning blue, the joyous occasion turns into a nightmare. Persistent pulmonary hypertension of the newborn (PPHN) is a dangerous condition that develops after the birth of a child. If your infant’s condition is undiagnosed or untreated, it could result in catastrophic consequences. Sometimes, it is the very actions of your treating doctor that caused PPHN.

If your child suffered devastating medical complications because the symptoms of PPHN were undiagnosed by your doctor, contact our Maryland attorney for persistent pulmonary hypertension for the newborn. Call Rice, Murtha & Psoras at (410) 694-7291 to schedule a free consultation.

Persistent Pulmonary Hypertension of the Newborn in Maryland Infants

A child does not use their lungs for the exchange of oxygen when they are in utero. Rather, the child depends on the placenta and umbilical cord for the exchange of oxygen. In utero, the pulmonary artery bypasses the developing child’s lungs. Blood is sent to the heart through the ductus arteriosus. During birth, the child undergoes a rapid transition. Air inflates the lungs, expanding them, beginning their task of exchanging oxygen. When this occurs, the infant’s ductus arteriosus should close.

Children who suffer from PPHN do not transition correctly and the ductus arteriosus remains open. This condition causes the child’s blood to continue to bypass the lungs. Consequently, the infant’s blood is insufficiently oxygenated. PPHN places pressure on the baby’s internal organs, potentially causing serious damage.

Common Causes of Persistent Pulmonary Hypertension of the Newborn in Maryland

PPHN typically occurs within the first 12 hours after delivery. Some of the common causes of PPHN arise from the medical condition of the mother, such as maternal diabetes or high blood pressure. If the mother exhibits symptoms of conditions that could cause PPHN, the obstetrician must be prepared to deal with the possibility that the ductus arteriosus will not close. If the symptoms are not recognized or ignored, the delivery team might not be appropriately prepared to address persistent pulmonary hypertension of the newborn.

PPHN is also believed to be a side effect of some medication that was initially considered safe to administer during pregnancy. If a doctor prescribes any of these medications, including Depakote, Celexa, Prozac, Zoloft, Lexapro, Paxil, or Pristiq, they could potentially be held accountable if the child suffers any harm due to PPHN.

Signs of PPHN in Maryland Infants that Doctors Should Know

While PPHN develops during the first 12 hours after birth, it could last for different lengths of time, depending on its severity. Some common symptoms that your child might exhibit include rapid breathing, increased heartbeat, respiratory distress, and your infant’s skin could have a blueish color. Your doctor should take immediate steps to determine if any of these symptoms are the result of PPHN. By ordering an ultrasound of the heart or chest X-rays, your doctor should be able to diagnose your child’s condition. Failing to recognize these symptoms or administering tests to rule out PPHN, could endanger your child and result in permanent damage to their internal organs.

Most infants who experience PPHN require immediate treatment in a neonatal intensive care unit. Early diagnosis and treatment are critical as the primary therapy is providing supplemental oxygen. A doctor could accomplish this through the use of a ventilator or intubation. Some severe cases require emergency surgery. If timely and adequately treated, the vast majority of infants can be weaned off the supplemental oxygen after a short time.

Medical Malpractice Contributing to Maryland Infants with PPHN

All medical professionals, including doctors, surgeons, and nurses, have a duty to adhere to accepted health care practices. When medical professionals deviate from these standards of practice, or purposefully ignore them, dangerous and harmful consequences could follow.

Medical negligence, or malpractice, could contribute to PPHN in a Maryland infant in a number of ways. A common medical mistake that results in preventable birth injuries is administering or prescribing the incorrect dosage of medication. Additionally, misdiagnosing the symptoms of PPHN or any delay in accurately diagnosing the condition could cause serious medical and health complications. Proper prenatal care is crucial in ensuring a healthy baby and a safe delivery. When a doctor or medical staff provides an insufficient level of care, symptoms could go unnoticed, putting both mother and child at an increased risk.

Every mother and her obstetrician want the delivery of a newborn child to be smooth and without complications. Unfortunately, that is not always the case. If symptoms were ignored, the delivery team might not be prepared to address PPHN. Even in cases where PPHN is a concern, if there is poor communication between the medical team or if the facility has inadequate protocols in place, the infant could suffer due to medical errors. When doctors or nurses contribute to PPHN, they should be held legally liable for their mistakes.

Who is Liable in Maryland for PPHN Complications?

Our attorneys are committed to ensuring all liable parties are included in a medical malpractice lawsuit. Depending on their role in the situation, some parties might be directly responsible for the harm inflicted, while others might be vicariously liable.

Those typically directly responsible for medical malpractice include your obstetrician, a medical specialist, nurses, or a surgeon if a surgical mistake occurred treating PPHN. Depending on the relationship between the parties directly involved and the hospital or birthing facility, it might be possible to hold the facility liable as well.

Call Our Maryland Attorneys for Persistent Pulmonary Hypertension of the Newborn for a Free Consultation

If your child experienced PPHN due to the negligent conduct of your obstetrician, doctor, nurse, or medical staff, contact our Maryland attorneys for persistent pulmonary hypertension of the newborn immediately. Our attorneys are dedicated to holding medical professionals accountable when they make preventable and dangerous mistakes. Call our Maryland birth injury lawyers at Rice, Murtha & Psoras at (410) 694-7291 to schedule a free appointment.