Birth Asphyxia Lawyer in Philadelphia
Advocating for Children Injured by Perinatal Asphyxia
Birth asphyxia, also known as perinatal asphyxia, is when an infant suffers from a lack of oxygen immediately before, during, or after birth. Unfortunately, it is one of the most serious injuries related to childbirth, as it can have fatal or lifelong consequences.
If your child suffered birth asphyxia as a result of a medical practitioner’s negligence, carelessness, or lack of skill/knowledge, pursuing a legal claim may be a viable option for you. These medical professionals should be held responsible for their actions, and you should be compensated for any injury done to your child and family.
The Villari Firm, PLLC can help you navigate the path to obtaining compensation and justice. Since 1998, Attorney Heidi G. Villari has represented families wronged by negligence and, to date, she has recovered more than $125 million in verdicts and settlements for our firm’s clients. Alongside a team composed of respected experts, Attorney Villari will gather evidence to substantiate your claim and work to highlight its strengths.
What Causes Birth Asphyxia?
Since birth asphyxia can occur at any stage of the birthing process, medical professionals are trained to monitor the fetus and mother to ensure that the fetus does not suffer from a lack of oxygen, and if any issues do arise, they are remedied promptly and effectively to avoid injury. Thus, medical professionals are required to look out for signs of birth asphyxia. Immediately before birth, these include an abnormal heart rate or rhythm and increased acid levels in the fetus’s blood. Once born, symptoms of birth asphyxia include:
- Blue, gray, or pale skin
- Slow heart rate
- Weak muscle tone
- Slow reflexes
- Weak breathing and crying
- Presence of an infant’s first stool (meconium) in the amniotic fluid
- Low level of alertness
- Limp body
If birth asphyxia is addressed in a timely manner by the attending physician, it is likely that no long-term harm will come to the newborn. If not, the baby will most likely suffer from brain damage, the severity of which depends on how long the child was deprived of oxygen and how big the gap is between when the injury occurred and when treatment was administered. In most cases in which birth asphyxia results in brain damage, the infant will develop hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy (HIE), which is among the leading causes of birth-related infant death and serious disabilities, such as cerebral palsy. The sooner birth asphyxia is treated, the better the chances are at minimizing any injury done to your child.
How Do I Know If My Doctor Is Responsible?
As mentioned, medical professionals are trained to monitor the fetus and infant to identify and address birth asphyxia, thus they owe a standard of care to you and your child. If they are too late to act, and your infant is injured as a result, they are considered to have breached their duty of care and can be held liable in a court of law. It is not only in your child’s best interest to pursue a claim through the civil justice system, but it can also prevent other expecting mothers from unknowingly hiring a negligent medical professional to assist them through childbirth.
Examples of medical negligence that lead to birth asphyxia include but are not limited to:
- Failing to address umbilical cord issues
- Insufficiently monitoring fetal distress
- Inadequately monitoring the mother during labor
- Performing an untimely cesarean section
- Improperly handling shoulder dystocia
A medical professional may also be considered negligent if they fail to identify the signs of birth asphyxia after the child is born and do not deliver a timely treatment. Birth asphyxia must be remedied as soon as possible, so every second that diagnosis and treatment are delayed increases the likelihood of severe health consequences for the child.
Hire a Renowned Philadelphia Lawyer
If you believe negligence was responsible for your child’s birth asphyxia, consulting a lawyer as soon as possible is advisable. While it is possible to pursue a claim on your own, an attorney can greatly reduce the stress associated with the complexities of the legal system. They will also relieve you of having to cut through legal red tape, leaving you and your family time to recover from what happened.
We know that no amount of money can make up for the harm done to you and your child, but we will fight to hold the at-fault party accountable for their actions. Furthermore, you are legally entitled to pursue compensation to help you get back on your feet and pay for any medical expenses associated with the injury. Renowned by Super Lawyers®, Martindale-Hubbell, the Philadelphia Trial Lawyers Association, and others, The Villari Firm, PLLC has the experience and knowledge necessary to help.