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Most babies are born without any issues. They come out of the womb being able to breathe and function correctly. But other babies – about 10% — come out needing to be resuscitated after birth. Resuscitation is the process of reviving a person from unconsciousness or apparent death, and it can be done with cardiopulmonary resuscitation, also known as CPR, among other procedures. CPR involves chest compressions and, oftentimes, using artificial ventilation to preserve a person’s brain function and restore breathing and blood circulation in someone who is in cardiac arrest.
A baby may need resuscitation for a few reasons. They may be large, their lungs may have not developed properly, or they might have meconium aspiration syndrome. The mother could have issues like previous high-risk births or an infection that could have caused this. Sometimes, errors occur because of negligence, or medical malpractice. And if the doctor does not perform resuscitation correctly, then a baby may have a number of health issues they have to contend with for the rest of their lives.
Symptoms of Infant Resuscitation
A baby may need to be resuscitated immediately if:
- They are not breathing
- There is no pulse
- They are unconscious
If any of the following occurred during the pregnancy, then there may be a chance that a baby must be resuscitated when they’re born:
- The infant is large
- There’s Intrauterine Growth Restriction (IUGR)
- There’s a prolapsed umbilical cord
- The doctor used tools like forceps or a vacuum extractor for the delivery
- The baby was delivered pre-term or post-term
- The mother had a disease or infection
- There was placental abruption
- The mother had previous high-risk births
- The mother is under 16 or over 40
- The mother has gestational diabetes
- There is severe bleeding during the pregnancy
If there was an error with infant resuscitation, a baby could develop a number of conditions including:
- Cerebral palsy
- Lower IQ scores
- Cognitive disabilities
If a child has one of these illnesses, they could have trouble completing everyday tasks and functioning properly when it comes to their mental, physical, and emotional health.
Treatment for Infant Resuscitation Errors
When a baby needs to be resuscitated, a doctor will do things like perform CPR, suction the baby’s airway, provide oxygen, warm, stimulate, and dry the baby, give the baby medication, and use mechanical ventilation. If they do any of these things wrong, then a baby may need short-term or long-term treatment depending on what kinds of health conditions they now have.
For instance, if they have cerebral palsy, they might need to get surgery, go on anticonvulsants, use medical equipment, and take sedatives. If they have ADHD or ADD, they may need extra help with schoolwork and go on Ritalin or Adderall. If they have autism, they may have to take antipsychotic medication. A baby with any one of these illnesses or other illnesses caused by resuscitation errors might need occupational therapy and/or physical therapy.
How Do I Know if Medical Malpractice Caused Infant Resuscitation Errors?
It’s very difficult to determine whether or not medical malpractice is to blame for infant resuscitation errors. You will need to consult with an experienced birth injury lawyer who can let you know if they believe negligence was a factor in your baby’s health issues.
For example, your lawyer may ask you what kind of proof you have that your doctor made mistakes while delivering and resuscitating your baby. This proof typically includes witness statements, medical records, photographs of injuries, and more. If your doctor failed to monitor you and/or your baby properly during pregnancy or labor, they delivered the baby too early, they did not treat you for illnesses you had during pregnancy, or they were too forceful with forceps or vacuum extractors, then they might have caused your infant to stop breathing and need resuscitation. Then, when your baby was born, maybe they did not take the proper steps to resuscitate your baby or they waited too long to do anything.
The only way to know whether or not you have a valid case is to contact a birth injury lawyer who knows the ins and outs of medical malpractice and can give you a more solid answer.
How Much Will I Receive From an Infant Resuscitation Errors Settlement?
Your birth injury lawyer can’t predict how much you may end up settling for with the defendant, your doctor. However, you may be able to claim damages for things like:
- Medical bills
- Loss of companionship and enjoyment of life
- Pain and suffering
- Future medical care
- Loss of earning capacity
Your lawyer will go after the highest settlement possible. Keep in mind that the higher your bills are, the higher your settlement will potentially be. If your child needs lifelong care, for example, you may get a settlement that will cover future costs for things like medication, medical equipment, caregivers, and therapy. If your baby’s illness has caused pain and suffering, which is a non-economic damage, your lawyer will calculate that for you as well.
Why Reach Out to a Birth Injury Lawyer?
When you have a child, it’s supposed to be one the best things you ever experience. But when it goes wrong, it can turn into a nightmare. And you shouldn’t have to pay for your doctor’s negligence or suffer any more than you already have. A birth injury lawyer will work hard to prove medical malpractice – which is very difficult – and fight for you so that you can have some peace of mind during this stressful time.
Your lawyer will do all the work, which includes collecting evidence and negotiating with your doctor to hopefully reach a satisfactory settlement. There’s always the possibility that you case could go to court, but typically, defendants try to avoid that scenario since it could lead to them having to pay an even higher settlement and damaging their reputation. Your lawyer will do everything they can to get you the settlement you deserve.
Infant Resuscitation Errors Birth Injury Attorneys
If you think your doctor was negligent when it came to caring for you and/or your baby and that negligence led to infant resuscitation errors and/or birth injuries, then make sure you get in touch with a birth injury lawyer today. Here at Gilman & Bedigian, we’ll advocate for you in your time of need.
Contact Gilman & Bedigian 24/7 for a free consultation at (800) 529-6162.