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Intrauterine growth restriction, also known as IUGR, occurs when an unborn child in the womb is not as big as it’s supposed to be for a certain stage in the mother’s pregnancy. The child will weigh less than 90% of other unborn children who are at the same gestational age.
There are two different types of IUGR. They are called asymmetrical IUGR, where the baby’s brain and head are the normal size but the rest of their body is small, and symmetrical IUGR, where all the parts of a baby’s body are small.
Many times, a baby will have IUGR because it is not receiving the proper amount of nourishment and nutrients. There could be issues with the blood flow in the umbilical cord or the placenta, which is supposed to deliver nutrients and oxygen to the unborn child. IUGR may also happen if the mother has an infection such as toxoplasmosis, rubella, or syphilis, she smokes or uses drugs or alcohol, she is pregnant with multiple children, she has a medical condition like anemia, lupus, or clotting issues, she takes certain types of medicine like seizure medicine, or she has high blood pressure. If a mother is generally healthy and eating well, getting sleep, and not using drugs, cigarettes, or alcohol, then there is less of a chance her baby will have IUGR.
Symptoms of IUGR
The signs and symptoms that a baby has IUGR are:
- The baby is small in an asymmetrical or symmetrical way
- At birth, the baby weighs less than 5 pounds, 8 ounces
- The baby is malnourished when born
- At birth, the umbilical cord is thin and has meconium on it
- At birth, the baby has loose, thin, pale, and dry skin
A baby that has IUGR may also experience complications and health issues could arise during pregnancy, labor, and after birth. The baby may have:
- Low Apgar scores
- Trouble maintaining body temperature
- Low blood sugar
- Breathing problems
- Low resistance to infection
- High red blood cell count
Additionally, a lack of oxygen can lead to issues like brain damage, developmental delays, cerebral palsy, and many other conditions.
Treatment for IUGR
While there isn’t a specific treatment to address IUGR, a mother may take certain medications or go on bed rest to improve blood flow. A baby may need to be delivered early if the case of IUGR is severe.
If IUGR develops into another condition, then treatment is going to vary. For instance, if a baby has a low Apgar score, then they may need resuscitation. A baby might also need to be put into the NICU for monitored treatment 24/7. If a child has cerebral palsy, they might have to take medications like anticonvulsants and sedatives, as well as go to occupational, physical, and recreational therapy for the rest of their lives. Other conditions could require surgeries and special medical equipment as well.
How Do I Know if Medical Malpractice Caused IUGR?
Proving medical malpractice is very difficult. Only an experienced birth injury lawyer will be able to tell you if negligence occurred and you have a valid case. However, if you believe your doctor did not administer the right treatment, gave you the wrong information, or withheld crucial facts about your baby’s health and risks of treatment from you, then negligence could be to blame.
For instance, perhaps your doctor prescribed you a drug that is known to cause issues in unborn children, or they delayed performing a C-section even though you needed one. Many doctors will say that IUGR just happens, but that’s not always true. Sometimes, a doctor is absolutely at fault. A birth injury malpractice lawyer can assess your case and determine if your doctor breached their duty of care and their negligence caused your baby’s injury.
How Much Will I Receive From an IUGR Settlement?
If your birth injury lawyer can successfully prove medical malpractice occurred, then you may win non-economic and economic damages such as:
- Medical bills
- Loss of companionship and enjoyment of life
- Pain and suffering
- Future medical care
- Loss of earning capacity
The higher your damages, the higher your possible settlement could end up being. For instance, if your baby now has cerebral palsy because of IUGR, your settlement could be higher because your baby will need lifelong care. You may also be able to claim pain and suffering and a loss of enjoyment of life for your child. Your birth injury lawyer will consult you and advise you on what type of damages are best to pursue.
Settlement Offers in an IUGR Case
When you get in touch with a birth injury malpractice lawyer, they will ask you information about your case, like what happened and if you have any evidence. Valid evidence could include photographs of your baby’s injuries, witness statements, and your medical records and bills. Your lawyer will help you collect more proof in order to strengthen your case.
Then, your lawyer will gather all this evidence and reach out to your doctor, the defendant, for a settlement. A few things could happen at this point. The defendant may offer you the full settlement or try to negotiate a lower one. They may reject your claim altogether. If this occurs, you have the right to take them to court. No matter what course of action you take, your lawyer will be by your side. They know that medical malpractice is notoriously difficult to prove, but they will fight hard to prove it so you can get the settlement that’s rightfully yours.
Why Reach Out to a Birth Injury Lawyer?
Right now, you need all the time and energy to focus on your baby and their health. You don’t want to get into a legal battle, even though you know you deserve compensation. A lawyer will take the burden off of you so you can spend time with your baby and your family and recover from this traumatizing incident. Then, you can feel some peace of mind in this stressful time.
IUGR Birth Injury Attorneys
If your baby is injured and you believe that medical malpractice is to blame, then get in touch with birth injury lawyers Gilman & Bedigian, who will fight on your behalf to get you compensation.
Contact Gilman & Bedigian 24/7 for a free consultation at (800) 529-6162.