Philadelphia Infant Perinatal Asphyxia Attorneys
Apart from inherited health problems, most infant health disorders, like neonatal seizure and brain dysfunction disorders, are caused by occurrences before, after, and during birth. This is known as the perinatal period, with a majority of serious injuries being caused by asphyxia, or a lack of oxygen to the brain.
One of the most common injuries that occurs from a lack of oxygen to the brain is hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy, which can cause further serious impairments like developmental delay, cognitive impairments, and cerebral palsy.
You always do your best to protect your children as a parent. Unfortunately, infant asphyxia is often due to failures on the part of the healthcare providers entrusted with a child’s safety. On the other hand, the responsibility for paying the massive medical bills associated with prolonged medical care and ongoing health treatments falls on the child’s family. The financial and emotional stress that asphyxia injuries bring are often life-changing, and can be difficult to recover from.
While managing the circumstances surrounding a child that has suffered from perinatal asphyxia is challenging, the law gives families the opportunity to pursue damages from those responsible to compensate for their pain, stress, and financial losses. At McEldrew Young Purtell Merritt, we’ve handled thousands of personal injury cases. We’ll highlight some of the causes of infant perinatal asphyxia and the steps you can take to get justice.
What is Perinatal Asphyxia
Birth asphyxia is a dangerous medical condition caused by a lack of oxygen being able to reach the brain. This oxygen depletion harms the baby in the form of brain injuries like hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy and intracranial hemorrhage. It also causes health problems like hypoglycemia and respiratory distress.
The threat of hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy is especially dangerous. Oxygen deprivation as a result of asphyxia damages brain tissue. Also known as HIE, the condition is the leading cause of severe impairments for infants, with possible conditions including epilepsy, delayed motor skill, cerebral palsy, and cognitive impairment.
Causes of Perinatal Asphyxia
There are a number of circumstances that can cause a baby to become oxygen-deprived around the time of delivery:
- Umbilical cord complications: umbilical cord prolapse and the cord being wrapped about the baby’s neck can cause the flow of oxygen to be cut off
- Pre-eclamsia: the mother’s high blood-pressure diagnosed during the pregnancy can cause decreased blood flow to the baby
- Emergency c-section delay: complications often require a quick delivery via c-section, delays in the diagnosis or execution of the procedure can mean the baby is oxygen deprived for too long
- Placental abruption: this occurs when the placenta separates from the uterine wall, causing severe bleeding and loss of blood flow to the baby
Improper anesthesia administration: mistakes can cause problems with the mother’s blood pressure, interfering with blood flow to the baby
Many complications leading to infant asphyxia can be managed if the medical team is monitoring the infant properly and takes the correct steps to limit their exposure to injury. Unfortunately, this isn’t always the case. If the care team doesn’t interpret the fetal heart monitor properly they may miss the problem, and they may not take the proper steps due to improper training or oversight and negligence on the part of senior staff due to factors like fatigue.
Philadelphia Infant Asphyxia Lawyers
There are personal injury laws that exist to help families who’ve suffered due to the negligence of healthcare staff. If your child suffered from complications related to infant asphyxia, your best course of action is to consult an expert law firm as soon as possible. Only an experienced personal injury lawyer can help you get compensation for the physical, emotional, and financial harm your family has suffered.
With over 30 years of personal injury law experience, McEldrew Young Purtell Merritt has the expertise to fully evaluate your legal case and get you the payout you deserve. To schedule a meeting for a free consultation, fill out our form or call us directly at 1-800-590-4116.