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Perinatal Hypoxic Brain InjuryA baby in utero (embryo or fetus) receives its oxygen supply through the placenta and umbilical cord. At the 11th week in gestation, or 9th week after fertilization, the baby is referred to as a fetus.
Fetal distress may be an indication of perinatal asphyxia, a severe deficiency of oxygen supply to the baby.A healthy fetus should a have strong and stable heart rate. During labor and delivery, the fetal heart rate (FHR) may decrease with contractions, but should return to the base line rate. The baseline rate should vary per minute cycle. This is called FHR variability and is indicative of a healthy fetus. It is also one of the most important clinical indicators in the assessment of fetal well-being during labor and delivery, because anything outside of the normal variability should alert the delivery team to the potential for fetal distress (nonreassuring fetal heart tracing).
Fetal distress may be an indication of perinatal asphyxia, a severe deficiency of oxygen supply to the baby. Oxygen deprivation is the most common cause of perinatal brain injury. Asphyxia may result from hypoxia (insufficient oxygen supply) and/or ischemia (insufficient blood supply). sphyxia can cause moderate to severe brain injury resulting in cerebral palsy and other serious medical conditions.
Hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy (HIE) is a clinical diagnosis of impaired neurological function that is made after delivery of the baby. HIE occurs when the entire brain is deprived of an adequate oxygen supply, but the deprivation isn’t total.
Fetal distress may arise due to the following:
- Umbilical cord prolapsed, compression, or entanglement
- Uterine rupture
- Placental abruption
- Uterine hyperstimulation
- Bacterial infection
- Improper medication
- Other trauma to the head during descent or delivery
New York Duty of Care
Obstetricians, doctors, and nurses have a duty to adequately monitor the fetus for any signs of fetal distress during labor and delivery. They should be cognizant and aware of non-reassuring patterns or warning signs such as a decrease in the baseline FHR; decrease in baseline variability; progressive tachycardia (FHR greater than 160bpm); and intermittent late decelerations with good variability.
Mr. DiMartini has obtained millions of dollars in compensation for his clients.More ominous warning signs include: persistent late decelerations with decreasing variability; variable decelerations with loss of variability, tachycardia, or late return to baseline; absence of variability altogether; and severe bradycardia.
When more ominous patterns appear, the delivery team should immediately initiate intrauterine resuscitation with the aim of increasing oxygen delivery to the placenta and umbilical blood flow in order to reverse hypoxia and acidosis. These measures include having the mother lie on her left side, reduce or stop any oxytocin, initiate tocolysis to suppress contractions, intravenous infusion, oxygenation, and infusion of fluid into the uterus to relieve umbilical cord compression (amnioinfusion). Preparation should also be made for immediate cesarean section (c-section) in anticipation that baseline rate will fail to return to normal.
The failure to recognize and treat fetal distress can cause hypoxia and lead to acidosis in the blood, which can destroy brain cells and cause permanent brain injury.
New York City Perinatal Hypoxic Brain Injury Lawyer
We understand how difficult it is when the joyous event of child birth becomes an unexpected life-changing challenge.
If your child was diagnosed with HIE, or suffered a brain injury during birth, Mr. DiMartini will evaluate your claim with a team of highly experienced legal and medical professionals to determine whether your child’s injury was caused as a result of a medical error or mistake.
Doctors and their insurance companies fight hard to defeat and deny the claims of people hurt due to medical malpractice. The victims of a medical mistake need an experienced New York medical malpractice lawyer on their side to protect their rights and assert their claim.
If we determine that we are willing to pursue your claim, it is only because we believe that there was a medical error that resulted in a serious injury to your baby, and we will aggressively and professionally pursue your claim to get you the maximum compensation you deserve.
Personal injury law is all we do. We know how to get results!
If you baby sustained a perinatal hypoxic brain injury due to obstetrical malpractice, we are here to fight for your rights. Call Mr. DiMartini directly at 1.844.299.0030. You can also contact us online. The consultation is free. There is never a fee unless we win your case!