When it comes to the question, “When should I take my baby to the ER for breathing difficultly?” there are a few different answers. Mainly, you should seek immediate medical attention for your baby if he or she exhibits any of the following symptoms related to respiratory issues:
- Breathing issues that affect the baby’s cognitive or physical capabilities
- The onset of sickness alongside breathing difficulties, such as vomiting or fainting
- Blue discoloration of the skin, particularly of the nails or lips
Other symptoms that may serve as less obvious warning signs of respiratory distress include:
- Abnormally leaning forward when breathing.
- Changes in their usual breathing rate.
- Flaring of the nostrils.
- Chest retractions.
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Treatments for Respiratory Distress
The treatments for respiratory distress syndrome (RDS) will vary depending on the baby’s unique circumstances, including his or her age, overall health, and the severity of symptoms. Generally, treatment of RDS will involve some combination of oxygen support and medications, potentially including:
- Use of a ventilator to help the child breathe by providing additional oxygen.
- Administration of medications, such as sedatives, to help calm the child. These medications can work to curb the baby’s natural urge to panic, while also allowing for further treatment.
- Use of a continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) machine, which will administer a constant supply of air into their system. A CPAP machine will also help keep smaller airways open in the baby’s lungs.
- Insertion of a breathing tube into the baby’s trachea to open the windpipe in emergency situations, giving the child access to much-needed oxygen.
- Use of an artificial surfactant. This is most effective when administered to children immediately following their birth, although it is sometimes a preventative measure. Doctors can administer this treatment through the baby’s breathing tube.
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Causes of Breathing Difficulties in Newborns
Depending on the underlying condition causing the respiratory issues, the root causes of breathing difficulties in newborns may include birth injuries, infections, and pre-existing medical conditions.
While some breathing issues occur due to medical conditions like cystic fibrosis, RDS, meningitis, and sepsis, mistreatment or misdiagnosis may exacerbate them. In these cases, the true cause for the condition may have something to do with medical negligence.
For example, when doctors allow a difficult birth to go on for a prolonged period of time instead of calling for a caesarian section, their inaction may result in the child experiencing birth injuries. As a result, they may develop a condition that affects their breathing.
Duty of Care Before and During Birth
When a mother receives regular checkups during her pregnancy, the attending medical staff owes a duty of care to protect her and her unborn child to the best of their abilities. That duty includes running tests to check for potentially dangerous medical conditions, as well as looking out for any risk factors that may eventually put a newborn in harm’s way.
Then there is the issue of respiratory problems that occur due to physical acts of medical malpractice. This can include pulling the baby from the birth canal with too much force, resulting in broken bones, torn muscles, or brain damage.
Regardless of whether the medical staff caused your birth injury through a missed diagnosis, physical harm, or negligent inaction, you may be entitled to recover damages for your pain and suffering.
Birth Injury Lawyers Ready to Represent Your Medical Malpractice Case
Here at the Birth Injury Lawyers Group, our attorneys have seen firsthand the kind of suffering birth injuries can cause. In addition to the physical harm respiratory problems can cause an infant, the parents may also face significant financial losses related to the child’s ongoing care. These aspects of pain and suffering do not even begin to cover the extensive psychological anguish parents may have to endure.
If you have found yourself asking, “When should I take my baby to the ER for breathing difficulty?” make sure to check for signs like wheezing, chest retractions, sickness, and discoloration. If you believe a medical professional may be responsible, our attorneys can be there to help you bring legal action against these negligent parties.
To learn more about how we can help fight for your right to compensation, contact a representative at the Birth Injury Lawyers Group today. Call for your free consultation at (800) 222-9529.