Delays in medical care can cause brain damage during birth

Newborn baby

In 2009, a woman went to an Illinois hospital to deliver her baby, who was born with brain damage. According to The Cook County Record, the woman and her husband have filed a lawsuit against the facility. In the claim, the parents allege that the medical team did not react in a timely fashion to a non-reassuring fetal monitoring strip and discontinue Pitocin administration. Further, the suit claims that the defendants did not perform a cesarean section quickly enough to prevent irreversible brain damage.

As an Illinois medical malpractice attorney knows, failing to take quick action during a woman’s labor can cause great harm to both her and her child.

Contributing factors

The American Academy of Pediatrics published a report that details how brain injury in infants may occur. During labor and delivery, the report notes there are several factors that can contribute to brain damage, such as a ruptured uterus, a prolapsed umbilical cord, a hemorrhage or maternal hypotension combined with an issue with the infant’s amniotic fluid. Most often, the damage occurs due to a lack of oxygen during delivery.

The AAP reports that there are fetal heart rate patterns that will demonstrate when there is some type of abnormal event happening with the baby. As an Illinois medical malpractice attorney knows, physicians and other delivery room staff should be monitoring the baby’s heart beat as well as the mother’s condition in order to detect potential threats and act accordingly.

Preventable problems

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimate that for every 1,000 live births in the United States, there are five babies who are injured. While some complications cannot be avoided, there are many instances in which medical professionals can prevent a birth injury. A lawsuit may result from a situation in which medical staff do the following:

  • Wait too long to perform a cesarean section
  • Fail to manage bleeding in the third trimester
  • Fail to respond to signs of fetal distress
  • Ignore or delay treatment for signs of placental abruption or a uterine rupture

Even after the baby is born, there are certain activities medical staff are expected to do to ensure the child is healthy. Newborns should be eating and going to the bathroom, have an unobstructed airway and have healthy-looking skin. If a doctor fails to assess a newborn’s condition and monitor the infant during the baby’s time in the hospital, it is possible that a significant injury could be missed and exacerbated.

Anyone with questions regarding this matter should consult with an Illinois medical malpractice attorney.