Oregon Birth Injuries Caused by Neonatal Resuscitation Errors: Oregon Birth Injury Lawyers Explain
Human beings need oxygen to life. This is a basic fact of life. Adults can breath on their own. A developing fetus does not breath on its own, but receives oxygen through the umbilical cord. The umbilical cord is the lifeline between a mother and a baby. The tricky issue with when the developing fetus becomes a newborn through the labor and delivery process. Once that baby is born into this world, that baby needs to start breathing on its own immediately. There could be some delay with the confusion as is common with most births. The baby may still even be receiving some oxygen diffused through the attached umbilical cord. But healthcare providers cannot guarantee that the umbilical cord is still working and need to get that baby breathing. If the baby is not breathing, immediately resuscitation efforts must be started. The failure to do so or neonatal resuscitation errors could result in catastrophic Oregon birth injuries.
This is because our Oregon birth injury lawyers know that time is tissue when it comes to hypoxic conditions. A hypoxic condition is a medical condition where an individual is receiving less oxygen than he or she needs. In other words, a hypoxic condition is a condition with an oxygen deficiency. But where a baby is receiving no oxygen at all, that is an anoxic condition.
Dangers of Hypoxic and Anoxic Conditions for Newborns
Neonatal resuscitation is imperative. This is because anoxic conditions are almost guaranteed to cause serious personal injury at a rapid pace. Even a short period of time without oxygen could result in a wrongful death. Whereas hypoxic conditions will almost immediately begin to cause damage to a baby and a baby’s brain. There is usually more time before an injury starts as compared to an anoxic injury which could depend on the amount of oxygen being consumed by the baby. However, hypoxic conditions that last even four minutes could result in catastrophic brain damage to a baby. A common form of catastrophic brain damage to a baby caused by a lack of oxygen is called hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy or HIE.
Neonatal Resuscitation Types
Anytime a baby is not breathing or breathing but has a low oxygen saturation, the healthcare team must immediately act to restore a baby’s breathing and oxygen saturation levels. There are two important types of neonatal resuscitation which must be started immediately. But the first step is to immediately stabilize the baby before trying either method. This could mean starting with chest compressions and preparing the baby with tactile stimulation, clearing the baby’s airways, and keeping the baby warm and dry.
If these stabilization methods are met and the baby is still not breathing or the oxygen saturation rates do not start to raise, our or both types of neonatal resuscitation must immediately begin.
First, there is intubation. This is when a breathing tube is inserted directly into the lungs and a ventilator breaths for the baby. The breathing is controlled by a machine and monitored by a trained medical staff to ensure the baby’s oxygen saturation rate is correct.
Second, there is surfactant therapy to help a baby’s lungs expand and to breath. Surfactant is a substance that is produced by the lungs to help them expand to consume oxygenated air. Without the surfactant the lungs do not expand or do not expand fully enough to take in a sufficient amount of oxygen. Therefore, surfactant therapy helps counteract this by forcing air into a baby’s lungs, delivering surfactant, and helping the baby produce more surfactant.
Neonatal Resuscitation Errors
There are some very common ways that neonatal resuscitation errors could occur. The most common ways include the following:
- Delays in treatment;
- Failure to monitor a baby’s breathing or oxygen saturation level;
- Improper intubating a baby;
- Failing to intubate a baby;
- Delays in starting surfactant therapy;
- Failing to use surfactant therapy;
- Failing to recognize a hypoxic condition or anoxic condition;
- Improperly handling a baby after birth;
- Neglecting to assist a baby breathing;
- Equipment failures;
- Untrained staff or negligent hiring;
- Delays in stabilizing the baby;
- Failure to clear airways; and
- Other types of reckless, careless, and negligent errors.
Failed Neonatal Resuscitation Could Cause Oregon Birth Injuries and Be Due to Oregon Medical Malpractice
If you or a loved one have been seriously injured or killed as a result of medical malpractice contact the Oregon Medical Malpractice Lawyers at Kuhlman Law at our number below or fill out the intake form. We offer a free initial case evaluation and handle cases on a contingency fee which means that you pay no money unless we recover.
Our law firm handles cases throughout the state including Bend and Portland Oregon, Redmond, Central Oregon, Sisters, Madras, Multnomah County, Deschutes County, Salem, Eugene, Corvallis, Lane County, Medford, Gresham, La Grande, Albany, Medford, Beaverton, Umatilla, Pendleton, Cottage Grove, Florence, Oregon City, Springfield, Keizer, Grants Pass, McMinnville, Tualatin, West Linn, Forest Grove, Wilsonville, Newberg, Roseburg, Lake Oswego, Klamath Falls, Happy Valley, Tigard, Ashland, Milwakie, Coos Bay, The Dalles, St. Helens, Sherwood, Central Point, Canby, Troutdale, Hermiston, Silverton, Hood River, Newport, Prineville, Astoria, Tillamook, Lincoln City, Hillsboro, and Vancouver, Washington.
We also have an office in Minneapolis, Minnesota and take medical malpractice cases throughout the Twin Cities, including St. Paul, Hennepin County, Ramsey County, Dakota County, Washington County, Anoka County, Scott County, Blaine, Stillwater, and Saint Paul Minnesota.
Please act quickly, there is a limited time (Statute of Limitations) in which you can bring a claim under the law.