Neonatal birth injuries may occur after the labor and delivery process. While there is a natural urge to breathe a sigh of relief once the sometimes chaotic process of labor and delivery has passed, a newborn requires prompt, vigilant care as provided by a qualified medical team. This is particularly true if the mother suffered from any serious health conditions during pregnancy, there was evidence of fetal health problems, or there were complications during labor or delivery.
While some post-delivery birth injuries cannot be reliably anticipated – such as those owing to genetic mutations – many injuries can be effectively treated or prevented with careful medical attention. A neonatal birth injury can have a lifelong impact on a child and his or her family so it’s important to understand the circumstances involved. Medical malpractice lawyers in Ohio can provide assistance to families affected by serious injuries they suspect can be attributed to medical malpractice.
Common Factors in Postnatal/Neonatal Birth Injuries
Some of the issues that medical personnel should be alert to after delivery include:
- abnormal APGAR scores (a medical professional’s failure to act quickly to address issues contributing to a low APGAR score can lead to further complication);
- encephalitis (the Mayo Clinic cites viral encephalitis, which causes inflammation of the brain, as a risk factor in an infant developing cerebral palsy);
- hypothermia (brain cooling) treatment errors;
- infection (particularly if the infection goes undetected and/or untreated);
- meningitis (the Mayo Clinic cites bacterial meningitis as a risk factor in an infant developing cerebral palsy);
- neonatal hypoglycemia; and
Newborn Health Conditions
Newborn health conditions can lead to neonatal birth injury. Listed below are some of the health conditions and factors that may lead to long-term injury:
- abnormal blood pressure;
- breathing issues;
- circulation problems;
- heart problems;
- hereditary conditions that interfere with digestion;
- issues with hydration;
- jaundice/elevated bilirubin (the Mayo Clinic cites severe or untreated jaundice as putting an infant at greater risk for developing cerebral palsy);
- meconium aspiration;
- temperature (either too high or too low); and
- untreated seizures.
If any of the above conditions or factors were left undiagnosed or untreated, an infant may be at risk for suffering a neonatal birth injury with possible short- or long-term effects. In this case, parents may discuss the details with medical malpractice lawyers in Ohio to evaluate whether they have a case, and for help determining liability for injuries.
Liability for Birth Injuries That Occur After Delivery
The prevention of post-delivery injury begins in the pregnancy stage with careful assessment and monitoring of the expectant mother. That level of care should continue throughout labor and delivery and after the baby is born. A newborn ‘s health should be tended to with great vigilance and attention to detail.
The staff that is charged with the infant’s well being should have the experience and training necessary to be able to identify potential risk factors in a timely manner and should be equipped to address any crisis which may arise. Risk of neonatal birth injury may be reduced if the newborn’s health is given due diligence.
In cases where a postnatal injury does occur and medical negligence or medical errors are suspected, parents can discuss liability for the injuries with medical malpractice lawyers in Ohio. Some of the parties that can be found liable include:
- obstetric nurse;
- hospital staff; and
- NICU staff.
In situations where a newborn’s health condition has led to injury, it may be difficult to determine if liability is an issue or whether the injury was essentially “impossible” to prevent. In almost all cases where there is some uncertainty, it will be necessary to get a thorough review of the process by an objective party with a strong knowledge of birth injury. The medical expert may be able to assess the situation and help to determine if medical negligence or medical malpractice were deciding factors in a neonatal injury.
Ask Medical Malpractice Lawyers in Ohio About a Possible Case of Neonatal Birth Injury
Families may be affected by birth injuries well into the future. These injuries or medical conditions can have a lifelong impact that can bring with it significant medical bills and other expenses. Parents may seek the input of medical malpractice lawyers in Ohio if in doubt regarding the cause of a serious birth injury.
A lawyer can analyze the details of the case to help determine whether evidence exists that a medical professional was liable in providing care to the newborn. Medical malpractice lawyers in Ohio at Mellino Robenalt LLC can provide consultation with parents affected by neonatal birth injuries.