Was Hypothermia Therapy Performed on Your Baby?
Few people have heard of neonatal therapeutic hypothermia. It’s an incredibly specific treatment that is seldom used because there only a few circumstances will call for it. For example, it would be needed when an infant is born and immediately suffers from hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy (HIE), a type of brain damage that occurs when babies don’t receive enough blood and oxygen right after birth.
HIE is an incredibly dangerous condition and should be treated immediately after even a possible diagnosis. The Florida Neonatal Neurologic Network estimates 20 out of 1,000 full-term births will be affected by the condition, while more than 60% of premature babies will have the same issue.
Low blood flow and oxygen can lead to brain damage, severe injury, vital organ failure, and even death. It is considered a type of brain injury, and it’s also believed to be the primary cause of fatality among infants in the country.
Neonatal therapeutic hypothermia is the only treatment clinically proven to help increase an infant’s chance of survival if he or she is experiencing HIE. Doctors who suspect HIE should immediately implement the therapy. This procedure essentially causes brain hypothermia by cooling the baby to about 33 degrees Celsius or 91.4 degrees Fahrenheit. The cooling takes place for a full 3 days after birth. Studies have shown the cold stops the progression of brain damage and can promote healing.
While there are potential risks associated with the treatment, the dangers of not performing it are equally high. If your doctor should have performed the neonatal therapeutic hypothermia but did not do so out of negligence, and your child was injured as a result, you could file a medical malpractice suit against the medical professional.
In order to prove medical malpractice occurred, you must be able to show your doctor had a duty of care to your child, he or she breached that duty of care, and the breach directly led to the birth injury of your baby.
Talk to one of our skilled Baltimore birth injury lawyers about your case as soon as possible. Wais, Vogelstein, Forman & Offutt, LLC can look at the details of your situation and offer experienced legal advice about your best course of action. If you decide to pursue a lawsuit, we can provide you with aggressive representation every step of the way.
Contact us at (410) 567-0800 or fill out our online form to schedule a free case consultation with us today.