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Southern New Mexico Law Blog

Birth Injury-Asphyxia

 

What is Asphyxia?

 

Asphyxia is a lack of oxygen.  Babies endure a difficult process during labor and delivery.  Many things must proceed correctly in order to have a successful delivery.  The successful delivery depends on the baby’s position, baby’s size, the forcefulness of the mother’s contractions, and the position of the umbilical cord.  Modern miracle science has fortunately advanced and doctors now have the technology to anticipate any potential risks.  Unfortunately, when the obstetricians and nurses make mistakes, the results for the baby and the family can be devastating.

 

What are the causes?

 

Causes of oxygen deprivation during labor and delivery can be placenta problems, contractions that are too close together, prolapsed umbilical cord, infection, preeclampsia and eclampsia, trauma, fetal distress, too much medication and shoulder dystocia.  Lack of oxygen during labor and delivery can cause developmental delays, cerebral palsy and wrongful death.

 

08/11/17

BIRTH INJURIES-ADVANCED MATERNAL AGE 

 

Because of education and careers, women are waiting longer to have children.  Generally speaking, women who have children after the age of 35 are considered to be of advanced maternal age.  Although, 20% of all women have their first child at 35 years of age or older.  There are 6 pregnancy related risk factors associated with advanced maternal age; still birth, maternal death, high blood pressure, genetic problems, miscarriage, and decreased fertility. 

 

Older women are statistically less fertile.  In this group, there are fewer pregnancies where birth control is not practiced.   Therefore, women in the group age 35 or older have a much more difficult time becoming pregnant and delivering children.  There are two major reasons why this increased difficulty is important for medical malpractice. 

 

First, women over the age of 35 are more likely to undergo fertility treatments to surmount the inability to become pregnant.  These fertility treatments and resulting pregnancies carry with them a much more increased risk that must be considered and monitored by doctors.  Although the choice of invitro fertilization has a 4% higher risk of genetic abnormalities, many problems are preventable.  Some of the negligent risks for fertility treatments are negligent destruction of viable embryos.

 

Failure to perform proper genetic testing or health/age background checks on donors and donated by a logical material, resulting in children born with genetic injuries, bleeding and death from egg retrieval procedures. 

 

Implanting the wrong embryo using the wrong sperm or using the wrong eggs.   Failing to test donated products for sexually transmitted diseases. 

 

Women are more susceptible to have miscarriages.  Miscarriage is a spontaneous abortion between 20 weeks.  These risks are often caused by increased chromosomal abnormalities. 

 

08/08/17

BIRTH INJURY – WRONGFUL DEATH OF A BABY

 

The death of a child during pregnancy or shortly after is a very traumatic event.  Often the parents want to know why did their child die.  In many cases, these deaths were preventable and were caused by physicians, nurses, or ineffective hospital policies.

 

 

Medical malpractice causing a baby’s wrongful death

 

The major risk to babies during pregnancy around the time of labor and delivery are:  oxygen deprivation.  Obstetricians and nursing staff must be trained to recognize the warning signs that a baby may have too little oxygen. 

 

Reduce blood flow

 

When the blood flow is eliminated or reduced for too long, the organs will shut down.  ‘

 

Trauma during delivery

 

Difficulty deliveries must be met with well-trained policies of obstetricians.  When a delivery is complicated by a baby’s distress, whether because of concerning fetal monitoring strips or shoulder dystocia, obstetricians must deliver the baby on an emergency basis.  Too much trauma to a baby using vacuum extractor or forceps can cause permanent injury or death. 

 

Uterine rupture

 

When the uterine wall is breached, both the mother and child’s life are at risks.  These ruptures can occur at any time near labor but are most common when the mother has prior uterine scars.  In the labor and delivery room, medical malpractice including excessive pushing on the stomach or improper use of Pitocin cause uterine rupture.  It is rare, occurring in about 1% of all deliveries.  When detected, the baby must be delivered immediately.

 

08/07/17

 

PREMATURE BIRTH INJURIES

 

Approximately 1 in every 8 babies in the United States is born prematurely.  Pre-term is normally equivalent to prematurity.  When a baby is born before 37 weeks, it is classified as premature.  There are some healthcare providers who stress that the premature label should be used more sparingly and that a baby born at 36 weeks, for example, might not be considered premature. 

 

Premature birth statistics

 

There are about 500 premature births every year in the United States.  Over the past 36 years, the premature rate has increased to 36% which is partially due to the advance in medical technology which allows for emergency pre-term deliveries.

 

 Risk factors to consider for premature delivery

 

**Uterine infections

**Incomplete/ineffectual cervix

**Obesity or underweight mother

**Multiple births

**Previous premature deliveries

**Chronic health problems including diabetes and hyper-tension

**Smoking, alcohol, and drug usage

 

Birth injuries caused by prematurity

 

The following is a list of possible complications:

 

**Death

**Respiratory difficulties

**Jaundice

**Digestive injuries

**Vision and hearing loss

**Cerebral palsy

**Developmental delays

 

08/04/17

NURSING HOME AWARENESS

 

Listen to what sounds you hear at a nursing home.

 

Residents yelling, screaming for assistance or moaning, can be signs of poor treatment.  It could be a sign of some mental disorder.  Learn how staff members address the residents. 

 

The staff should address the residents by their names.  This is a resident’s worth and the feeling of being respected.

 

Beware of understaffing

 

If the CNAs and staff work overtime or double shifts, this could be a sign of understaffing which can adversely affect the resident’s care.  If the staff is overworked, more than likely they will be overstressed.  If the family believes that the resident is being neglected because of poor staffing ratios, they should file a complaint with the state agency that regulates the nursing home. 

 

If the residents are outside the rooms, or rather outside doing activities, this is a very good sign because it shows that the residents needs are being addressed. 

 

How does the staff treat each other?

 

The staff is more than likely going to be rude to the residents if the staff is rude to each other.  Furthermore, staff should spend its time charting at the end of each shift. 

 

08/01/17

 

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Tim Chelpaty Law Office

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Las Cruces, NM 88005

 

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