Lack of oxygen during childbirth can severely impact newborn infants, turning a joyous event into a devastating one. Factors like umbilical cord issues, breech births, and maternal health can lead to serious brain injuries like Hypoxic-Ischemic Encephalopathy (HIE) and Cerebral Palsy (CP), placing heavy emotional and financial strain on families.
If your child experienced oxygen-related issues leading to HIE or CP, consult our Michigan birth injury lawyers at Fieger Law. We’ll evaluate if medical negligence played a role and guide you in seeking compensation for the challenges faced by your child.
Oxygen Deprivation During Delivery
Oxygen deprivation during delivery, which can cause a medical condition referred to as hypoxia or anoxia, occurs when an infant doesn’t receive an adequate oxygen supply during the birthing process. This can turn into a medical emergency if the following occurs:
- Cord wrapped around neck: If the umbilical cord gets wrapped around the baby’s neck, it can restrict oxygen flow. While this situation is relatively common and doesn’t always lead to complications, it can result in oxygen deprivation if not monitored or addressed correctly and quickly.
- Compressed umbilical cord: During labor and delivery, the umbilical cord can be pinched or compressed, reducing the oxygen and nutrient supply to the baby. This can occur due to reasons like certain fetal positions or a knot in the cord.
- Breech birth: In a breech presentation, the baby is positioned feet-first instead of head-first. This can cause complications, including difficulties during delivery that might compress the umbilical cord or cause other issues leading to oxygen deprivation.
- Prolonged labor: An unusually long labor can stress the baby and cause decreased oxygen levels. If not identified and managed promptly, it can result in birth asphyxia.
- Placental abruption: This is when the placenta prematurely separates from the uterus, which can disrupt the baby’s oxygen supply. Medical providers must diagnose this condition and intervene early to prevent delivery complications.
- Failure to monitor: Medical negligence can play a role if healthcare providers fail to properly monitor the baby’s heart rate and oxygen levels during labor and delivery. Delays in responding to signs of distress can lead to preventable oxygen deprivation.
Our birth injury attorneys at Fieger Law can review your case and assess if medical negligence played a role in your baby’s condition. With our extensive experience, we can determine if there were preventable errors during delivery, helping your family get the compensation they’ll need.
Consequences of Oxygen Deprivation on Infant Health
Oxygen deprivation during childbirth can have severe consequences for an infant, impacting both their immediate health and long-term development. Oxygen deprivation at birth can shape a child’s life, from potential brain injuries to organ damage. The repercussions include:
- Brain injury and HIE: HIE can result in serious neurological impairments, leading to developmental delays, cognitive deficits, and lifelong disabilities.
- Cerebral palsy (CP): This group of motor function disorders can compromise a child’s ability to move and control their muscles, varying from mild disturbances to mobility and coordination challenges.
- Organ damage: Oxygen deprivation can damage vital organs, especially the heart and lungs. This may result in persistent cardiac and pulmonary complications.
- Developmental and behavioral concerns: Oxygen deprivation can lead to developmental delays, cognitive impairments, and behavioral issues, hindering a child’s ability to achieve milestones and enjoy a fulfilling life.
If your baby suffered oxygen deprivation due to poor health provider care resulting in any of these health issues, our attorneys can help you seek fair compensation. We can assess the immediate and long-term effects on their quality of life, allowing you to receive a maximum settlement.
Financial Strain on Families
Dealing with the aftereffects of oxygen deprivation during childbirth can be emotionally draining and financially burdensome for families. From immediate neonatal care to ongoing treatments and specialized equipment, the costs quickly add up.
The CDC estimates that the cost of caring for a child with CP is 10 times higher than for a child without CP or another developmental disability. For children with both CP and intellectual disabilities, the cost is 26 times higher.
Hospital stays, surgeries, and consistent medical attention form just a part of the financial picture. Children might also need extended rehabilitation services, including physical, occupational, and speech therapy. They may rely on tools and technology, like wheelchairs or screen readers.
Along with these costs, parents often need to cut back on work or even leave their jobs to care for the child, leading to further financial strain. The birth injury lawyers at Fieger Law can help estimate these lifelong expenses and assist your family in seeking compensation for current and future care expenses.
How to Prove Medical Negligence in a Birth Injury Case
Proving medical negligence in a birth injury case is a complex task that demands attention to detail and legal knowledge of medical malpractice law. To build a strong case, your birth injury attorney at Fieger Law can do the following:
- Prove Duty of care: First, we establish that the healthcare provider owed a duty of care to you and your child. Evidence of a doctor-patient relationship, such as prenatal visit logs and hospital admission records, can show your provider’s obligation to ensure your and the baby’s well-being.
- Prove Breach of duty: In a medical negligence case, you must prove the practitioner failed in this duty. We can use medical records and established birth and delivery guidelines to demonstrate that care fell below the standard.
- Prove Direct causation: It’s essential to show a direct link between the breach of duty and your child’s injury. Medical expert testimonies are crucial. Specialists can attest to whether the standard care breach directly led to the birth injury.
- Prove Damages: Finally, you must show that the injury resulted in physical, mental, or financial damages. This could include medical bills, expert evaluations of long-term care needs, or testimonies about your child and family’s suffering.
Seek Compensation for Your Child’s Birth Injury
If your child suffers a birth injury due to oxygen deprivation, you may be entitled to compensation covering emotional distress, medical expenses, therapy, and continuous care.
At Fieger Law, we champion the rights of children and families harmed by careless medical actions during birth. Our team secured the largest birth injury settlement in the U.S., helping the victims receive $144,500,000.
If you believe your child’s birth injury resulted from medical negligence, contact Fieger Law today. Schedule your free consultation to receive the legal support you need.