There are multiple things that may cause the need for infant resuscitation, include:
- Premature babies whose lungs are not fully developed
- Compression of the umbilical cord, which can reduce oxygen to the baby
- The baby is in the birth canal too long
- Other delivery errors
While many babies may require mild resuscitation, such as a rubbing of the skin to stimulate breathing, advanced resuscitation such as chest compressions and intubation are less common.
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The Infant Resuscitation Process
At the time of birth, many babies take their first breath, and, after a quick exam, the doctor or nurse hands the baby to the mother.
If a baby is struggling or unable to breathe, however, doctors may need to perform some sort of resuscitation. This may involve trying to help the baby breathe on his or her own or intubating the baby. Some babies may need CPR.
According to the Merck Manual, around 10% of babies require some type of respiratory assistance after birth, with fewer than 1% requiring extensive resuscitation.
If a doctor does not take the appropriate measurements of the health of the baby immediately, this could cause a delay in beginning resuscitation efforts. This type of delay could lead to severe health problems for the baby, including brain damage from a lack of oxygen. In the worst-case scenario, failing to start resuscitation efforts quickly enough could result in a fatality.
Mistakes During Resuscitation
During resuscitation, it is possible that medical personnel could make an error when inserting a breathing tube in the baby’s trachea, causing internal bleeding. An improper insertion of the breathing tube could lead to scarring in the trachea, which may never heal fully.
In certain emergency situations, CPR may be performed on an infant. However, if the medical personnel use too much force, this could cause a permanent injury for the baby.
Infant oxygen deprivation can also lead to brain injuries, including permanent conditions such as cerebral palsy.
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Resuscitation, Birth Injuries, and Medical Malpractice
Although some of the conditions that cause the need for infant resuscitation may be unpreventable, such as a premature birth, other times, doctor negligence during prenatal care or delivery could cause the injuries that require resuscitation. This may include scenarios where:
- A doctor fails to monitor the pregnant mother for signs of a difficult delivery when there is still time to plan for a safer alternative, such as a cesarean (C-section) delivery
- A doctor allows the baby’s oxygen supply to be cut off during delivery
Other times, doctor negligence could harm the baby during the resuscitation process itself, for example:
- By applying excessive force to the baby
- By incorrectly administering resuscitation procedures
- By failing to recognize the need to resuscitate, allowing the baby’s injuries to get worse
Birth injuries can lead to your newborn fighting for his or her life and potentially result in long term health problems. If a doctor’s negligence caused your child to suffer birth injuries, they may be liable to your family in a medical malpractice lawsuit.
Recoverable Damages in a Medical Malpractice Case
Depending on the child’s injuries and the laws of your state, the following damages may be recoverable in a medical malpractice insurance claim or lawsuit related to birth injuries:
- All current and future costs of treatment related to the child’s birth injuries
- Lost wages for either parent that must stop working to care for the child’s wellbeing
- Mobility assistance devices and specialized caregivers or educators required by the child
- Non-economic damages such as pain and suffering
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Get Help from the Birth Injury Lawyers Group Today
If doctor negligence injured your child during prenatal care, delivery, or post-delivery care, the Birth Injury Lawyers Group may be able to help you file a medical malpractice insurance claim or lawsuit against them.
Our firm represents families nationwide in birth injury malpractice cases. We can handle all communications, evidence gathering, and legal work in your case when we represent you. This can include hiring medical expert witnesses to testify in your defense, when necessary.
For a free consultation on your case with a member of our team, call the Birth Injury Lawyers Group at (800) 222-9529. We offer representation on a contingency-fee-basis with no advanced payment due. Our attorney fees come out of our client’s settlement offer or court award, if and when they win their case.