While most deliveries go smoothly, when birth traumas due occur they often involve a "hypoxic ischemic event, (HIE) " also call birth asphyxia. An HIE occurs when a baby is deprived of oxygen during the labor and delivery process. The longer an infant's brain is deprived of oxygen, the more likely it is that he or she will sustain a birth injury.
The types of injuries that result include but are not limited to mental retardation, cerebral palsy, epilepsy, as well as many other development and learning disabilities.
A number of reasons may lead to a hypoxic ischemic event and a birth injury, including medical malpractice. If physicians or other staff fail to act quickly enough to restore the flow of oxygen, such as by performing an emergency c-section, they may be found responsible for causing the birth trauma and liable for damages. As the result of birth asphyxia or HIE, a baby may have severe and long-term neurological damage.
If you believe that your child may have suffered a birth injury as the result of a medical mistake or error during delivery, it's important to consult with an experienced California birth injury attorney right away. A skilled San Francisco medical malpractice lawyer can begin an investigation into the circumstances surrounding your child's birth. Where medical malpractice has caused an injury, it may be possible to recovery compensation to pay for a lifetime of care.
Fortunately, many hospitals around the country have begun using "cooling therapy," a technique designed to reduce the severity of birth injuries – including cerebral palsy – follow oxygen deprivation is cooling therapy.
Cooling therapy works by reducing an infant's core body temperature, which then slows secondary damage to healthy cells in the brain after an initial brain trauma. By beginning to cool infants as quickly as possible after an injury, physicians have been able to improve the lives of infants born with brain injuries by lessening the degree of developmental delays they experience.
Optimally, cooling therapy is given within the first 6 to 14 hours of life to infants who show signs of fetal distress, such as an Apgar score below 5, an altered state of consciousness and require artificial ventilation.
As stated by one doctor, it is hoped that "induced hypothermia will result in fewer infants with devastating lifelong disabilities."
For more information about cooling therapy believe that your child may have suffered a birth injury as the result of a medical mistake, please contact the dedicated California birth injury lawyers at Bostwick & Peterson, LLP for an immediate consultation.