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Over-ventilation Injuries

Baltimore Lawyers Helping People Pursue Damages for Birth Injuries

Some infants experience difficulty breathing on their own at birth and require the assistance of mechanical ventilators. Neonatal ventilators have saved the lives of many newborns, but they are complicated machines that must be used and monitored with extraordinary care, and if they are not, they can cause grave harm. For example, if breathing machines are improperly employed, it can result in over-ventilation injuries. Damage caused by over-ventilation typically only occurs when health care providers fail to uphold their obligations, and in many instances, they can be held liable for medical malpractice. If your child suffered an injury at birth that you suspect was caused by medical negligence, you should speak to an attorney about your possible claims. The assertive Baltimore birth injury lawyers of Arfaa Law Group possess the skills and experience required to hold careless doctors responsible for the damages they cause, and if we represent you, we will advocate zealously on your behalf.

Common Over-Ventilation Injuries

When a respiration device causes a baby to draw breaths too quickly or deep, it can result in too much carbon dioxide being removed from their system in too short of an amount of time, causing dangerously low carbon dioxide levels in the bloodstream. Low carbon dioxide levels, or hypocarbia, can cause an acute reduction in the blood flow to the baby’s brain, which can lead to the destruction of brain cells and tissue. This can result in serious conditions, like cerebral palsy and periventricular leukomalacia. Excessive pressure from ventilation machines can also cause a newborn’s lungs to collapse and can lead to scarring, pneumothorax, and bronchopulmonary dysplasia.

Lawsuits Arising Out of Over-Ventilation Injuries

Typically, parents of children who suffer over-ventilation injuries will file medical malpractice lawsuits against the provider who caused their harm. As birth injuries are rarely caused by intentional acts, most plaintiffs seeking compensation for such losses will assert negligence claims against the defendants.

In Maryland, negligence is made up of four elements, and a plaintiff must prove each element to demonstrate liability. First, the plaintiff has to show that the defendant owed the plaintiff a duty. In the context of medical care, the duty owed is to provide treatment that meets the standard of care, which is the care a reasonable professional working in the same specialty would offer in a similar situation. Second, the plaintiff must establish that the defendant deviated from the standard of care in some way. The third and fourth elements, causation and damages, are linked in that the plaintiff has to demonstrate that the breach of the standard of care proximately caused the plaintiff to suffer quantifiable damages. In other words, that the defendant’s behavior was a substantial factor in bringing about the harm sustained.

The Use of Experts in Birth Injury Cases

As the standard of care that applies to doctors is beyond the scope of understanding of the average individual, the plaintiff will typically have to hire a medical expert to explain the standard and the manner in which the defendant departed from it. Expert testimony is also usually necessary to connect the breach and the subsequent injuries. Finally, a medical expert will most likely be needed to establish damages. In other words, they may opine that the medical treatment the infant received following the injury was reasonable and necessary and may explain what care may be needed in the future. Depending on the severity of the injuries sustained, a life care expert and vocational specialist may be needed to prove the cost of care the infant will need throughout their life and the wage loss they will ultimately suffer because of the injuries.

Contact a Knowledgeable Baltimore Attorney

Ventilation machines can offer critical support to newborns who struggle to breathe, but if they are not used properly, it can result in serious over-ventilation injuries. If your child sustained losses at birth due to the recklessness of a healthcare provider, you might be entitled to compensation, and you should contact an attorney as soon as possible. The knowledgeable Baltimore lawyers of Arfaa Law Group are adept at helping people in pursuit of justice, and if you hire us, we will work diligently to help you seek the results you deserve. We regularly represent people in birth injury cases in Baltimore, where our office is located. You can contact us via our form online or by calling us at 410-889-1850 to schedule a meeting.