Blame the Hospital for a Child’s Brain Injury?

Lakewood, Colorado Personal Injury Lawyer Serving Denver, Boulder, and Nearby Areas

Posted: March 1, 2018

Expecting parents are often stressed as the birth of their child comes nearer and nearer. Many in Denver, Colorado can speak to the truth in this statement. Even though they may be worried, some people do not realize there is a chance that their child may experience a serious case of oxygen deprivation during birth. This occurs about two times for every 1,000 births. This can result in a brain injury in the child. Such an occurrence may be the fault of the medical staff attending to the birth. If this is the case, parents may want to ask an attorney if a lawsuit is the right choice.

Brain injuries can cause a large number of complications, especially a newborn child. Specifically, oxygen deprivation, which is known as hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy, happens when an individual is cut off from an air supply. In newborns, this can kill brain cells necessary for development. According to estimates, there is a 50-percent chance oxygen deprivation will cause a permanent impact on the muscle coordination of a newborn. Cerebral palsy is one of the many conditions that can result because of oxygen deprivation during birth.

In addition to this, there is a 20 percent chance children affected by oxygen deprivation will die. The complications of this potentially fatal situation can be extremely expensive. This is why many people who believe a medical facility is responsible for related injuries file a lawsuit.

Despite this, hospitals have developed a way to help mitigate the consequences of oxygen deprivation during birth. According to reports, many medical groups are using hypothermia treatment to fight against the potential side effects associated with hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy. This involves lowering the body temperature of an affected infant from 98.6 degrees to 92.3 degrees for 72 hours. Experts believe that cooling the body down minimizes cell death but are uncertain exactly why this may be.

Source: Wall Street Journal, “Hypothermia Cure: Cooling Infants to Battle Brain Damage,” Shirley S. Wang, April 8, 2013