During birth, a number of complications may arise. In most cases, these complications are quickly addressed and the baby suffers no long-term effects. However, if medical professionals fail to quickly and properly address the problems that may occur during birth, the baby may suffer serious injuries.
In Indiana, those who are injured by negligent medical professionals may seek relief through the court system. Indiana birth injury attorneys represent these families to make sure they are fairly compensated for the financial losses they have suffered.
The Causes of Reduced Blood Flow on a Baby
The umbilical cord delivers blood and nutrients to a baby while it is in the womb and continues to do so until it is cut after birth. The umbilical cord also transports carbon dioxide and waste away from the baby.
One of the most common causes of reduced blood flow during birth is a prolapsed umbilical cord. With umbilical cord prolapse, the pressure applied to the umbilical cord causes a reduced blood flow. For example, in some births, the umbilical cord can become bent and twisted. If this is not corrected, the baby may not receive oxygen and other important nutrients, leading to serious injuries.
One sign of a compressed umbilical cord is a reduced heart rate. Medical professionals should carefully monitor a baby’s heart rate during labor and delivery and act immediately if it drops. In some cases, the baby may need to be delivered by emergency Caesarean section.
If the baby has a reduced blood flow for an extended period of time, brain damage may occur. With a reduced blood flow, the baby’s brain cannot receive the oxygen it needs. Permanent disabilities or even death may occur if the baby’s oxygen supply is cut off for too long.
Causes of Lack of Blood Flow During Birth
There are a number of complications that may interrupt the flow of blood to the baby. Some of these occur during pregnancy, whereas others do not occur until labor or delivery. These may include:
- Trauma during pregnancy
- A prolapsed umbilical cord
- Complications with the placenta
- Preeclampsia and eclampsia
- Overmedicating the mother
- Shoulder dystocia, or when the baby’s shoulders are stuck in the birth canal
- Long deliveries
- The baby enters the birth canal feet-first instead of headfirst
Other complications may also impact the baby’s blood flow. These complications should be reflected in your child’s medical records.
What Medical Conditions Are Linked to Reduced Blood Flow?
There are many medical conditions that may be caused by reduced blood flow during pregnancy, labor, or delivery. A few examples of the most commonly diagnosed conditions are:
- Brain damage, which may be permanent
- Cerebral palsy
- Developmental delays
- Permanent damage to organs, such as the heart or lungs
The impacts of the lack of blood flow vary and depend on the baby’s oxygen levels, how long blood flow was restricted, and how quickly medical treatment was administered. Babies who suffer from a lack of blood flow for a short period of time may make a full recovery; babies who are without for an extended length of time may suffer permanent impairment or even death.
The Elements of an Indiana Birth Injury Claim
An injured victim (or the victim’s parents or guardians) must prove several different elements to recover damages in a birth injury claim. These elements are:
- The at-fault medical professional owed the victim a duty;
- The duty was breached because of the medical professional’s negligence; and
- Due to this negligence, the victim suffered damages.
Generally, the duty in a birth injury claim is to provide medical treatment that meets the applicable standards of care in the medical community. A medical professional takes on this duty as soon as he or she agrees to provide medical care to a patient.
A breach of the duty to provide proper medical care is established by showing the medical professional’s negligence. Did the medical professional wait too long to administer treatment? Did the medical professional administer the wrong medication? Your birth injury attorney will identify all instances of negligence in your case.
The purpose of damages is to make an injured victim “whole” again after suffering an injury. Damages may include medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering. The victim generally may claim any damages that are directly related to the medical professional’s negligence.
How Do I Know if My Baby’s Doctor Was Negligent?
The only way to know if your baby’s doctor was negligent is to consult with an attorney experienced in Indiana birth injury claims. Your attorney will carefully study your child’s medical records to look for clues that signs of distress were not properly addressed. If necessary, your attorney will file a lawsuit on your child’s behalf.
With the assistance of an experienced Indiana birth injury attorney, your family will obtain the compensation it deserves.
Schedule Your Free Consultation with Our Birth Injury Firm Today
At Doehrman Buba, our birth injury attorneys have represented families in all types of claims, including those involving brain damage. To schedule a free consultation with our excellent legal team, contact us today. There is no fee unless we win your case.