There is nothing more joyful than bringing a baby into the world and nothing more devastating than discovering your baby suffered a brain or other injury due to medical negligence during labor and birth.

The truth is: Birth injuries are often preventable and medical mistakes can exact tremendous pain and suffering to babies and their families.

Some types of birth injuries caused by medical negligence include: brain damage, skull and arm fractures, spinal cord injuries, facial paralysis, Brachial palsy, newborn jaundice, Kernicterus, Cerebral palsy, and Erb’s palsy.

These conditions are serious and require long term, if not, lifelong medical treatment. Fortunately, Albany lawyer, John Fisher, is here to fight for the legal rights of infant brain damage victims and their families.

Common Causes of Brain Injuries

Head and brain injuries are the most common serious birth-related injuries. Brain damage from a birth injury can happen before, during or shortly after the birthing process. About 3 in 1,000 babies born full term in the U.S. will suffer from some degree of brain damage. More than half of newborn brain damage cases are caused by asphyxia, oxygen deprivation.

There are two types of asphyxia: hypoxia and anoxia. Hypoxia happens when the brain isn’t getting enough oxygen and Anoxia occurs when the brain completely loses its oxygen supply. Anoxia is more severe.

HIE or Hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy is the most common type of brain damage in newborn babies. It happens when the baby’s brain doesn’t get enough oxygen or blood flow for a long period of time.

Monitoring Fetal Heart Rate Prevents Injuries

Monitoring the fetal heart rate is critical to avoiding fetal brain injuries and maintaining the health and safety of the baby, especially during labor and delivery. There are specific fetal heart monitoring protocols that medical professionals must follow and two different monitoring options.

External: The external fetal heart monitoring includes a pair of belts wrapped about the mother’s abdomen. One belt uses Doppler to detect the fetal heart rate. The other belt measures the length of contractions and the time between them.

Internal:  The internal monitoring method is a wire called an electrode. It is placed on the part of the fetus closest to the cervix, usually, on the scalp of the fetus. The device records the fetal heart rate. Uterine contractions also may be monitored with a special tube, called the intrauterine pressure catheter inserted through the vagina and into the uterus.

If fetal heart monitoring errors occur and your baby suffers a loss of oxygen resulting in brain damage, Albany lawyer, John Fisher, can help you evaluate your case and receive the compensation you and your child deserve.

Determining Infant Brain Damage: APGAR

One of the most widely used methods for determining if a baby’s brain damage was caused by a lack of oxygen at birth is the APGAR scoring system. The acronym stands for Appearance, Pulse, Grimace, Activity, and Respiration. The birthing medical team uses this scoring system to assess if babies are healthy right after birth. Each category is scored 0,1, or 2 points, and total number of points is the APGAR score. A low score indicates the baby requires medication intervention.

Some components of the APGAR score are subjective, and there are cases where a baby requires urgent medical treatment despite having a high APGAR score. Even this method of assessment, designed by the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology, can be interpreted differently based on other important medical information that a lawyer’s medical experts can help determine.

Do I Have a Case? Ask an Albany Attorney Who Knows About Infant Brain Damage

If your baby suffered infant brain damage through the negligence of the medical team you trusted, contact the experienced Albany lawyer, John Fisher, for a free case review.