The birth of a child is a special moment for every parent. However, this special moment can quickly turn into a nightmare if their newborn baby is diagnosed with Hypoxic-Ischemic Encephalopathy (HIE). HIE is a type of brain damage caused by insufficient oxygenated blood flow during the time of birth. When a newborn is diagnosed with HIE, it is vital for doctors to act fast to treat them. Doctors have been using Neonatal therapeutic hypothermia to treat severe brain damage and slow down disease progression shortly after birth. Neonatal therapeutic hypothermia involves reducing the infant’s total body temperature. Why? Because medical research has shown that people heal faster if they were injured while they were cold or in icy weather. Lower body temperatures may help stimulate healing.
Unfortunately, there are cases where doctors make errors in judgment or practice in therapeutic hypothermia cases. Doctors are required to act quickly and carefully when diagnosing and treating newborn children with hypothermia therapy. If you baby required therapeutic hypothermia as a result of HIE and is now permanently disabled or the doctor failed to diagnose HIE, there is a possibility that negligence occurred. The attorneys at Handler, Henning & Rosenberg LLC have helped thousands recover the compensation they deserve after life-changing accidents. Call us today at (888) 498-3023 for a free consultation!
When Should Babies Be Treated with Hypothermia Therapy?
Doctors should check if an infant qualifies for hypothermia treatment within six hours of birth. A newborn will receive the treatment if they have an Apgar score of 5 or less 10 minutes after birth, if the infants were born at 36 weeks or earlier, or if the infants have moderate to severe encephalopathy.
Some conditions that may prompt this treatment are:
- Fetal heart abnormalities
- Difficult delivery
- Lack of oxygen in the mother’s blood before birth
- A delayed C-section
- Umbilical cord problems during delivery
- Maternal preeclampsia
- Fetal anemia
- Premature birth
- Meconium in the amniotic fluid
- An infant too large / small for gestational age
While there are some risks to this treatment, research has indicated that the benefits outweigh the dangers. For example, some studies show a slightly increased baseline heart rate in infants undergoing treatment. Other babies have an increased need for blood pressure support.
Hypothermia Therapy Birth Injury
Hypothermia therapy has become a medical standard for the treatment of neonatal brain injury. You may have a case for medical malpractice if that lack of therapy caused a worsening of your child’s condition. In order to prove you have a case for medical malpractice, you must prove all of the following:
- A patient (your baby) was injured during treatment
- There was an existing doctor-patient relationship between the doctor and your baby
- The doctor failed the standard of care and harmed your baby as a result
Experienced Pennsylvania Birth Injury Attorneys
You must also file a claim against the medical practitioner within seven years of the injury. If the case involves wrongful death, you must submit the claim within two years of the date of death. If you think you have a case, contact our Pennsylvania birth injury attorney at Handler, Henning & Rosenberg LLC. Our firm has nearly a century of history representing people in all types of injury cases. Our firm has also won tens of millions of dollars on our clients’ behalf. Let us help you get the compensation you deserve.
Contact us at (888) 498-3023 or fill out our online form to schedule a free case consultation today.