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Personal injury: Can asphyxia follow medical negligence?

Most parents in Washington will do whatever is possible to protect their children from harm. However, there are circumstances under which they cannot prevent personal injury. It could happen around the time of the baby's birth. An event called birth asphyxia can occur when the oxygen supply to the baby is insufficient before or during the birth process, or immediately after birth. The longer the child was deprived of oxygen and length of time it took to administer treatment will determine the severity of the damage suffered by the baby.

While problems can occur naturally, such as a twisted umbilical cord or if the baby has a defective airway, asphyxia can result from the negligence of doctors, nurses or other medical professionals. Medical professionals and hospitals have to provide competent and professional medical care. If there is proof that this standard of care was not maintained, the parents of a baby who suffered asphyxia can sue for medical malpractice.

An unsafe prescription could have caused the problem during the mother's pregnancy, in which case the doctor and the pharmaceutical company may be at fault. Other causes of asphyxia could include the failure of medical staff to provide oxygen timely or to order and perform a cesarean section when necessary. A hospital might also be at fault for allowing incompetent staff members to perform duties above their capabilities.

When a Washington family has to cope with the consequences of a medical professional's negligence that caused asphyxia, the financial and emotional impact on the child and the family can be long-term and severe. In some cases, the child may need life-long medical care, with significant related costs. Navigating a medical malpractice lawsuit can be extremely complicated and might be best left to an experienced personal injury attorney who can work on obtaining a monetary judgment to cover past and future losses.

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