5 Common NICU Mistakes
If your infant has recently gone through medical trauma due to a NICU mistake, consulting with a medical malpractice attorney can help you get the compensation you need. NICU mistakes aren’t as rare as you would think, and since infants are at such a critical stage of their lives, the effects of a medical accident can have lifelong consequences.
Receiving compensation for NICU mistakes in Michigan isn’t difficult if you have the help of a medical malpractice lawyer. However, you must file a notice of intent to file suit within two years of when the medical malpractice occurred.
If you think that any of the following mistakes have occurred during your child’s time in NICU, contact a medical malpractice attorney at the law firm of Cochran, Kroll & Associates, P.C., as soon as possible. You need an experienced medical malpractice attorney on your side to identify NICU medical errors and fight for justice for you and your child.
1. Mismanagement of Brain Bleeds
Intracranial hemorrhages, commonly known as brain bleeds, are not uncommon in births where vacuums or forceps are used to remove the infant. A medical practitioner must keep a careful watch for signs of a brain bleed and take appropriate steps to minimize the damage.
Failure to treat a brain bleed can result in permanent brain damage, seizures, and more. This can mean permanent learning and physical disabilities for the child, and future medical expenses and care that could last for the rest of his or her life.
While it’s easy to think that medical experts would never miss something as obvious as head trauma, they sometimes do. There are a number of possible treatments for brain bleeds, so medical professionals are obligated to do as much as they can to minimize damage.
2. Failure to Treat Infections
While some infections are passed to a newborn from the mother, others can come from the environment around them. Obstetricians can often identify and begin a treatment plan for many infections, but it’s up to the NICU staff to continue to monitor the newborn for symptoms and implement the treatment plan properly.
Herpes simplex encephalitis, sepsis, meningitis, and other infections can kill or cause lifelong disability to a newborn. Since staff in the NICU work with a number of babies, some of whom may have these infections, it’s imperative that they proactively monitor for signs of infection in your child.
3. Missing Signs of Hypoglycemia
Hypoglycemia, or low blood sugar, is easy to diagnose in newborns. It’s also fairly easy to treat in its early stages. However, in a busy NICU environment, nursing staff may choose to overlook mild symptoms. By the time they take a second look and decide to take action, it may already be too late.
Low blood sugar in newborns can cause brain damage, cerebral palsy, and seizures. If your child received a hypoglycemia diagnosis and is struggling to develop in later months, you may have grounds for a medical malpractice lawsuit.
4. Newborn Resuscitation and Breathing Assistance Errors
It’s not rare for newborns to need extra help to get their first few breaths after being born. Breathing tubes, breathing machines, and other equipment are standard in hospitals, and a resuscitation specialist is supposed to be available to help assist newborns as needed.
However, hospital staff can sometimes misdiagnose a breathing problem, causing them to take inappropriate steps to restore an infant’s normal breathing. It’s also possible for them to improperly insert a breathing tube or use a breathing machine incorrectly. These errors can have significant consequences, including brain damage and cerebral palsy.
5. Failure to Treat Jaundice
Did you know that jaundice can cause brain damage? This condition is often easy to diagnose, thanks to its trademark yellowing of the skin, but it’s not always as easy to treat. Medical professionals sometimes fail to diagnose the cause of jaundice.
As a general rule, light therapy and other simple treatments can eliminate jaundice that is caused by high bilirubin levels caused by normal changes to red blood cells after birth.
However, if an underlying infection is causing jaundice, medical professionals must be proactive in their attempts to diagnose and identify the true cause. If they fail to do so, they have failed the standard of care due your infant is entitled to, and it may be grounds for a medical malpractice claim.
Statute of Limitations in Michigan
While most medical malpractice cases are covered under the personal injury statute of limitations of two years, with children, the issues may not become noticeable until after this time period. This is especially true if brain damage causes learning deficits which are not always obvious, or take a lot of time to diagnose, in young injured patients.
In Michigan, you have until your child’s 10th birthday to file an intent to pursue a medical malpractice suit. There may be some exceptions to this rule if the injury is still not discovered until later, but a judge must determine if your medical negligence claim after 10 years is valid.
If your child has an injury that may be the result of medical negligence in the NICU, you may be entitled to compensation for your medical bills and for health care services for as long as your child requires them.
At Cochran, Kroll & Associates, P.C., we will fight for the rights of you and your child to ensure that your pain and suffering is not ignored. We collect medical records, documentation, witness testimonies, and expert analysis to build a case you can win.
Contact us today at (866) 642-4529 and tell us about your child’s case. We know how difficult this road has been for you, and we offer a free consultation to discuss all of your available options. If we decide to take your case, we don’t get paid until you win.