Birth Injury Blog

Birth Injury: Did Your Doctor Fail To Perform Hypothermia Therapy?

Posted By Beam & Raymond || 14-Apr-2017

Hypothermia therapy, or head cooling, is a medical approach used to mitigate the effects of oxygen deprivation, or asphyxia, during birth. When a baby suffers from oxygen deprivation, there are substantial risks for brain damage. Hypothermia therapy works by slowing the spread of damage between brain cells, delaying or preventing death of brain cells, and minimizing the degeneration of brain cells associated with apoptosis.

While hypothermia therapy can prevent serious injuries, adverse long-term outcomes, and even save the life of a newborn, it is still the responsibility of medical professional to properly monitor an unborn baby, recognize when medical intervention is necessary, and properly perform head cooling in a timely manner. When they fail to do so, victims have the opportunity to hold them accountable by pursuing birth injury lawsuits.

Our legal team at Beam & Raymond has cultivated a reputation for handling some of nation’s most challenging birth injury cases, including those involving hypothermia therapy of the head or the entire body. In many of these cases, medical professionals failed to uphold their duty of providing an acceptable standard of care by failing to use hypothermia therapy. If head or body cooling was not performed on your baby despite signs of oxygen deprivation and possible brain damage, you might have a case for compensation.

Hypothermia therapy is a critical and well known component of the standard of care for treating birth asphyxia. If doctors or nurses are negligent during delivery and birth, your child may not receive head cooling when they should have. Commonly, failures to perform hypothermia therapy result from:

  • Failures to monitor an unborn baby for signs of distress, including asphyxia and heart abnormalities
  • Failures to take appropriate action during difficult deliveries
  • Failing to recognize preeclampsia in mothers
  • Failures to recognize umbilical cord problems
  • Failures to perform C-sections or delayed C-sections
  • Failures to recognize or treat hypoxic ischemia
  • Delays in performing therapeutic head cooling

Because hypothermia therapy is a standard approach in deliveries that require additional medical intervention, it is ultimately the responsibility of physicians and nurses to properly identify signs of a difficult birth and a baby who has experienced asphyxia in order for it to be performed. For example, our firm obtained a $6.5 million settlement in a case where a child suffered permanent brain damage due to several failures of medical staff, including failures to perform hypothermia therapy despite the fact that the baby was suffering from hypoxic ischemia and seizures.

If you have questions regarding a potential birth injury case in which hypothermia therapy was not performed on your baby, do not hesitate to contact Beam & Raymond to discuss your case personally with our caring, compassionate, and capable legal team. We proudly serve families throughout the country.

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