Perinatal Asphyxia

Birth Injury Attorney Guiding Baltimore Families Through the Legal Process

Birth injuries may have serious and even permanent consequences for a child’s life. If your child was born with perinatal asphyxia due to a medical professional’s error or carelessness, you may be entitled to compensation through a medical malpractice claim. At Arfaa Law Group, our Baltimore birth injury lawyer can work diligently to explore what went wrong and determine who may have been responsible. Julia Arfaa is committed to protecting the rights of people injured by the negligence of health care providers.

Understanding the Harm Caused by Perinatal Asphyxia

Perinatal asphyxia, also sometimes known as birth asphyxia, is a condition that occurs when there is too little blood flow to the tissues of the fetus, resulting in oxygen deprivation to the infant during labor and delivery. Put another way, perinatal asphyxia results from inadequate intake of oxygen by the baby during the birth process, meaning before, during, or just after birth. This oxygen deprivation may lead to permanent brain damage as well as other physical problems, such as damage to the kidneys, cardiovascular system, respiratory system, and digestive system. These health issues may have long-term consequences for a child.

Perinatal asphyxia has a number of potential causes, including:

  • The umbilical cord being wrapped around the baby’s neck;
  • The premature separation of the placenta from the uterus;
  • Pre-eclampsia or eclampsia;
  • Placenta rupture or other problems with the placenta;
  • Prolonged labor; or
  • A mother’s high or low blood pressure.

Many times, monitoring the vital signs of the fetus and the mother throughout the birth process will prevent perinatal asphyxia. This is because if doctors notice anything unusual, in some cases, they will respond by performing an emergency C-section.

When a medical professional such as a doctor or nurse fails to detect the possibility of oxygen deprivation to the fetus, and the child is harmed, it may be considered medical malpractice. This form of negligence occurs when a medical professional causes an injury to a patient because they failed to adhere to the accepted standard of care that another medical professional in the same specialty would have followed under the same or similar circumstances. In order to establish medical malpractice, the plaintiff must prove that the doctor owed the patient a duty of care (based on the existence of a doctor-patient relationship), the doctor breached the duty of care owed to the patient, and the doctor’s breach was a direct cause of the patient’s harm.

A child who suffers a brain injury is likely to require ongoing assistance in medical and other areas for the rest of their life. This tends to be extremely costly. Fortunately, Maryland law allows victims of medical malpractice to recover both economic and non-economic damages. Economic damages are intended to compensate a family for items such as current and ongoing medical expenses, including rehabilitation costs, lost wages (if a parent is required to quit their job to care for the child), and future losses in earnings resulting from the child’s disability. Non-economic damages are awarded for non-pecuniary losses, such as pain and suffering resulting from the child’s injuries. It is important to note that a claim for damages must be brought within a certain time period after the medical negligence. Depending on the circumstances, it may be challenging to determine how the statute of limitations applies, so you should consult a lawyer as soon as possible to make sure that you do not miss the opportunity to bring a claim.

Discuss Your Birth Injury Claim with a Compassionate Baltimore Attorney

Birth injuries may have serious and long-term consequences for not only an injured child but also that child’s family. At Arfaa Law Group, Baltimore lawyer Julia Arfaa is dedicated to protecting the legal rights of infants who have been affected by perinatal asphyxia that was caused by medical negligence. With years of experience, we know how to navigate these types of cases effectively. Our team represents people who need a medical malpractice lawyer throughout the State of Maryland. To learn more about your legal rights and options, you can call us at 410-889-1850 or contact us online and set up a free appointment.