A woman may be in labor for hours or days before delivering her child. There are risks associated with a lengthy labor process, and expectant mothers and their unborn children must be carefully monitored so that complications do not arise, and if they do, they can be addressed immediately. For example, issues can occur during delivery that leads to a baby developing sepsis, a severe and sometimes life-threatening condition. Sepsis in newborns is often the result of medical negligence, and parents of children who developed sepsis may be able to recover damages in birth injury lawsuits. If your child became septic shortly after birth, you should meet with an attorney to evaluate your options for seeking damages. The Baltimore birth injury lawyers of Arfaa Law Group can inform you of your rights and assist you in pursuing the best legal outcome available under the circumstances.Causes of Sepsis in Newborns
Sepsis is a life-threatening condition in which the body attacks itself in response to an infection. Sepsis can lead to organ and tissue damage and organ failure, and in newborns, it frequently causes death. Sepsis often arises in preterm deliveries and labor that lasts for an extended period of time after the mother’s water breaks. It can also occur when the amniotic fluid or placenta is infected or there is Group B streptococcus colonization during pregnancy. If a doctor observes risk factors, a newborn should be carefully monitored for symptoms of sepsis, which may include jaundice, breathing issues, low blood sugar, unusual bowel movements, vomiting, and a swollen abdomen.Elements of a Birth Injury Lawsuit Arising Out of Sepsis
Even if risk factors are present, there are measures doctors can take to prevent newborns from developing sepsis, and if they fail to engage in such efforts and an infant suffers harm as a result, the child’s parents may be able to seek compensation. Generally, a plaintiff in a birth injury lawsuit will allege a negligence claim against the defendant.
In Maryland, to establish medical negligence, the plaintiff must show that the defendant had a duty to treat the plaintiff in compliance with the applicable standard of care, which is defined as the treatment that a competent professional practicing in the same specialty would offer when faced with a similar situation. The plaintiff must then demonstrate that the defendant breached the duty owed by failing to uphold the standard of care. Lastly, the plaintiff must prove that they suffered actual harm because the defendant breached the standard of care. In other words, they have to demonstrate that they would not have suffered losses but for the defendant’s acts or omissions.
A plaintiff in a birth injury case will most likely need to hire a medical expert to explain to the judge or jury what the standard of care requires of the defendant and how the defendant failed to uphold the standard. The expert will also need to connect the defendant’s breach to the harm they ultimately suffered. A second expert may be required to establish the plaintiff’s damages. In other words, they will testify regarding what care the infant needed immediately after the sepsis developed and what care they will need in the future, the financial costs incurred by the parents, and the economic losses the child will suffer in the future because of the defendant’s negligence.Meet With an Experienced Baltimore Lawyer
Sepsis is a dangerous condition that can quickly become fatal, especially when it arises in newborns. If your child developed sepsis after birth, you might have grounds for pursuing birth injury claims against the providers responsible for their delivery and care, and it is wise for you to meet with an attorney as soon as possible. The experienced Baltimore lawyers of Arfaa Law Group can evaluate the facts of your case and gather the evidence needed to provide you with a strong chance of achieving a favorable outcome. We have an office in Baltimore, where we frequently represent families in birth injury lawsuits. You can contact us through our form online or by calling us at (410) 889-1850 to set up a confidential meeting.