Florida Hypoxia Birth Injury Malpractice Attorneys
Expectant parents depend on their physicians and other health care professionals to be able to handle any complications that may occur during the birth process. Fortunately for them, most doctors, nurses, and other healthcare providers can and do respond to emergency situations and problems during labor and delivery very quickly to prevent birth injuries.
Sometimes, however, doctors and others helping during labor and delivery do not act in time to prevent a serious injury. Perhaps they didn’t notice the signs of stress on the infant. Perhaps they didn’t anticipate complications and respond quickly enough. Perhaps they were negligent in the care they provided.
If your child was injured due to lack of oxygen, or hypoxia, during the birth process and you suspect medical negligence, it is important to understand what occurred, the challenges your family now faces, and what you can do to handle those challenges. It is also important to hold the negligent physician and/or other healthcare providers liable for their negligence and the harm it caused.
With a Florida medical malpractice claim, you could potentially obtain substantial compensation for your child’s medical expenses, care, pain, suffering, and other damages resulting from the malpractice. The Florida medical malpractice attorneys of Paul Knopf Bigger can help. We are committed to obtaining justice for victims of preventable birth injuries and want to help you get the compensation you deserve.
How Does Perinatal Hypoxia Affect Newborns and Children?
Complications that occur during the late stage of fetal development, labor, delivery and the period immediately following delivery, can have devastating, permanent effects on children’s health and development. Oxygen deprivation (hypoxia) during these transitional times can be especially injurious, since it typically results in damage to the child’s brain that can lead to death.
Symptoms of hypoxia or hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy (HIE) may be evident in the neonatal period. These symptoms include a weak cry, seizures, organ dysfunction (heart lungs, kidneys, liver and blood), poor eating, low muscle tone and decreased consciousness. Severe and permanent disabilities can develop later, including:
- Delays in growth and development
- Cerebral palsy
- Cognitive impairment
- Behavioral disorders
Unfortunately, children who survive perinatal hypoxia are vulnerable to many disabilities that become more apparent throughout their early childhood. These children are often diagnosed with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), learning disabilities, and problems with object recognition and cognitive functions, such as problem solving, planning, and making decisions
What Causes Hypoxia in a Fetus or Newborn Infant?
Hypoxia can occur during fetal development, during the birth process, or in the neonatal period. Problems during pregnancy that can result in perinatal hypoxia include:
- Maternal diabetes
- Maternal drug or alcohol abuse
- Heart disease
- Lung malformations
- Problems with blood flow to the placenta
Problems during labor and delivery that can result in hypoxia include:
- Very low maternal blood pressure
- Breech birth
- Prolonged labor
- Umbilical cord problems
- Placental abruption
Post-delivery problems that can result in neonatal hypoxia include:
- Trauma to the head or brain
- Respiratory failure
- Cardiac arrest
- Extreme prematurity
- Serious lung or heart disease
- Serious infections
Whether occurring during the neonatal stage, the birth process or pregnancy, many of the problems that cause perinatal hypoxia can be prevented with effective health care and treatment. If doctors and other health care providers do not provide adequate care and treatment during pregnancy, labor and delivery and the neonatal period, they may be liable for medical negligence.
Examples of medical negligence that can result in perinatal hypoxia include:
- Inadequate monitoring of the pregnancy
- Negligent fetal monitoring
- Failure to recognize abnormal positioning of the fetus (such as a breech birth)
- Failure to recognize and remedy umbilical cord problems, such as a prolapsed or compressed umbilical cord
- Failure to perform a timely C-section
- Impulsive vacuum extraction
- Failure to recognize and treat perinatal hypoxia
When medical negligence causes perinatal hypoxia, it can have lifelong consequences. In addition to unanticipated medical bills and concerns about their child’s future, parents are left with the emotional pain of knowing the injury could have been prevented. If the injury is fatal, the emotional pain can be devastating.
What Does a Florida Hypoxia Birth Injury Malpractice Claim Do?
If your child exhibits symptoms associated with hypoxia that could have been caused by medical negligence, you should consult with an experienced Florida hypoxia malpractice attorney to discuss how you can hold the negligent party or parties accountable and get compensated for the damages you and your child have suffered.
The medical malpractice that injured your child may seem apparent to you; however, medical malpractice cases can be very complicated, so involving a skilled attorney in the case as soon as you are aware of the possibility of medical negligence is in your best interest.
In Florida, a medical malpractice claim must demonstrate four elements:
- Duty – You must be able to show that the negligent doctor or other healthcare providers had a duty to provide the same quality of care another reasonably prudent practitioner of the same specialty would have provided in similar circumstances.
- Breach – You must then show that the health care provider(s) fell short of or breached the expected standard of care.
- Cause – It follows that you must then prove that the doctor or other healthcare providers’ negligence in breaching their duty caused harm to your child.
- Damages – Finally, you must show that the harm your child suffered because of medical negligence caused damages. These damages can be economic, as in previous, current and future medical expenses, and non-economic, as in pain, suffering and diminished capacity to enjoy life.
If you can demonstrate these four elements, you may be able to obtain substantial compensation for the damages recoverable under Florida law.
What Kind of Compensation Is Available for Florida Victims of Perinatal Hypoxia Birth Injury Malpractice?
Under Florida law, you and your child may be entitled to recover economic and non-economic compensatory damages to pay for:
- Medical expenses – including past, current and future expenses
- Rehabilitation, therapy and care costs
- Physical pain and suffering
- Mental anguish
- Diminished earning capacity
- Other damages that are unique to your situation and recoverable under Florida law.
Proving that the obstetrician or other healthcare providers’ negligence led to your child being injured and you and your child suffering damages is a complicated legal process. It requires a comprehensive understanding of all the facts, high quality expert testimony, skill as a trial lawyer and experience with medical malpractice cases.
The proven birth injury medical malpractice attorneys of Paul Knopf Bigger have the skill and expertise you need to handle your child’s case successfully. We have won many multi-million-dollar settlements and awards for our clients who have been seriously injured by medical negligence and will put the same tenacity, skill and knowledge to work pursuing justice and the substantial compensation you and your child deserve.
What Is the Statute of Limitations for Florida Perinatal Hypoxia Birth Injury Malpractice Cases?
The statute of limitations for all medical malpractice cases in Florida is two years from the date the medical negligence occurred, was discovered or should have been discovered. The latest date allowed for discovering malpractice and pursuing a claim is four years from the date the medical negligence occurred. For children, however, you are permitted to initiate malpractice litigation up until their eighth birthday, as long as you would not be expected to have known about the injury and the possibility that it was caused by medical malpractice earlier.
Proven, Trusted Florida Perinatal Hypoxia Medical Malpractice Attorneys
Handling Florida medical malpractice cases successfully requires the skill and knowledge of experienced trial attorneys and the resources of a high-powered law firm. The Paul Knopf Bigger attorneys have the experience, skill and resources you can depend on to win your child’s hypoxia malpractice case.
Other attorneys throughout Florida and the U.S. trust us to handle their clients’ complex Florida medical malpractice claims. If your child was injured due to hypoxia caused by medical negligence, you too can trust us to provide the outstanding legal representation, individual attention and substantial compensation you deserve.
Please call us at 800-673-9585 or submit the “Free Case Evaluation” form on our website to discuss your child’s case with a medical malpractice attorney you can trust for excellence in the pursuit of justice. One of our experienced, knowledgeable medical malpractice attorneys will listen to what happened and advise you on your best course of action at no cost to you.
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2020). Infant mortality.
- Piesova, M., & Mach, M. (2020, March 23). Impact of perinatal hypoxia on the developing brain. National Library of Medicine.
- University of California San Francisco Benioff Children’s Hospital. (2020). Hypoxic Ischemic Encephalopathy.