Delayed delivery of a newborn can have catastrophic effects. Timeliness of a delivery is critical to ensure that a baby doesn’t suffer a devastating birth injury such as a brain injury. When the delivery of an infant is delayed, there is a drastic increase in the risk of the child experiencing asphyxia (deprivation of oxygen) which can result in a brain injury. This is why it is critical that the doctor and hospital nursing staff are vigilant in monitoring a fetus’ heart rate and the mother’s contractions once the process of labor has started. This is typically accomplished with the use of fetal heart monitoring and sometimes with a scalp electrode.
If there are signs of distress to the mother or the unborn child, delivery needs to occur if possible to prevent serious injury. Unfortunately, due to lack of staffing and careless medical providers, this does not always occur. The results can be catastrophic if the baby is deprived of necessary oxygen and sustains a birth injury such as hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy (HIE). Such injuries can result in lifetime complications requiring expensive medical care and impaired mental and physical function. Cerebral palsy is a condition often associated with a delayed delivery resulting in a lack of oxygen to the baby’s brain.
What is Cerebral palsy?
Cerebral palsy (CP) is a condition characterized by impaired motor function associated with a birth injury. CP is often diagnosed shortly following birth but can also be diagnosed later in a child’s life (often when physical milestones are missed). The brain injury that causes cerebral palsy causes dysfunction in the way messages from the brain are communicated. In general, cerebral palsy can cause impaired movement throughout the body. This can be limited to a slight limp, weak grip or something much more complex such as complete quadriplegia. Children may also suffer from painful and range of motion limiting muscle contractures requiring surgical intervention. Problems swallowing and eye muscle imbalance are also commonly associated with CP.
What is hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy (HIE)?
HIE is a brain injury caused by a reduction in the necessary supply of oxygen and blood flow an infant’s brain. The effects of HIE may include developmental delays, epilepsy, cognitive issues, cerebral palsy, motor skill development delays, and neurodevelopment delays. Often the severity and symptoms of Hypoxic Ischemic Encephalopathy generally cannot be determined until the baby reaches 3 to 4 years of age as cognitive impairment becomes more apparent.
Unnecessary delays in delivery resulting in brain injuries are some of the most heart-wrenching catastrophic medical malpractice cases our firm handles. Our birth injury attorneys have represented families throughout Kentucky against hospitals and physicians whose negligence caused life-altering damage to our clients.
Has Your Family Been Impacted By A Birth Injury?
If your family has been impacted by a birth injury you need to speak with an experienced birth injury attorney as soon as possible. Contact us online or call our office directly at 888.450.4456 to schedule a free consultation.