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Medical Malpractice Attorneys in Cleveland Help Families Sort Through the Aftermath When Hospitals Fail to Resuscitate Newborns Promptly

When a baby is born, it must transition quickly from life in the uterus to life outside the uterus. The first challenge is for the newborn to breathe independently. Instead of getting oxygen from the placenta, the baby has to draw oxygen in to its newly-expanding lungs. The first breath usually comes within ten seconds of delivery. Sometimes, however, a baby has difficulty taking its first breath. Instead of hearing a lusty cry, those attending the delivery may hear nothing. This can be very scary for parents. Our Cleveland medical malpractice attorneys at The Eisen Law Firm work to prevent future tragedies from occurring by holding hospitals and doctors accountable for medical negligence.

How common are breathing complications in newborns?

About ten percent of newborns will need a bit of help to begin breathing; less than one percent will need significant help. Help can range from simply drying the baby, warming it, and stimulating it, to placing a tube down the baby’s airway and hooking it up to a ventilator. The administration of medications and chest compressions may also be required.

Where does the medical negligence leading to a failure to resuscitate generally occur?

There are many reasons why a baby might need help in taking its first breath. But in every case, the key is providing the necessary help quickly, within the “Golden Minute” right after birth. Any delay beyond that time can result in the baby suffering permanent brain damage.

At every delivery, there should be at least one person whose primary responsibility is the baby. (This is typically not the obstetrician, who must remain focused on the mother after birth.) This person must be capable of initiating neonatal resuscitation, including administration of oxygen and delivery of chest compressions. Either that person or someone else who is promptly available should have the skills needed to perform a complete resuscitation, including endotracheal intubation and administration of medications.

With careful consideration of risk factors, the majority of newborns who will need resuscitation can be identified before birth. If the possible need for resuscitation is anticipated, additional skilled personnel should be recruited and the necessary equipment prepared. Many hospitals have a “Code Pink” team that is called when the need for resuscitation is anticipated. Code Pink teams typically include a pediatrician specifically trained and certified in advanced neonatal resuscitation.

Unfortunately, sometimes due to medical negligence, the need for resuscitation is not anticipated. As a result, no one trained in helping a baby to breathe is present at the time of delivery. Sometimes, the personnel are present, but due to hospital negligencethe proper equipment is missing or not working. When medical hospital negligence delays the institution of resuscitation, a baby can suffer asphyxia and severe brain damage. In fact, The Eisen Law Firm recently handled a case where a baby died due to medical negligence and failure to resuscitate. A confidential settlement was reached when medical professional did not take a mother’s complaints of labor seriously, causing her to be admitted to adult ICU. Medical negligence and failure to resuscitate resulted in the death of the baby.

What can our attorneys do for victims of doctors that fail to resuscitate newborns?

At The Eisen Law Firm, we have litigated cases on behalf of babies who were not promptly resuscitated and who became brain damaged as a result. We have the experience and expertise to evaluate the actions of those responsible for monitoring the baby’s breathing at birth and for acting within the “Golden Minute” to correct any problems. If you believe that your baby wasn’t properly resuscitated, call us to discuss your situation. If appropriate, we can help you seek justice and obtain compensation, including the financial resources needed to care for your child.


Contact our experienced Cleveland medical malpractice lawyers for a free consultation to discuss your case if your child was injured or died due to failure to resuscitate

Unfortunately, when there is a delay in resuscitation, sometimes the baby doesn’t survive. There is nothing more tragic than losing a child just moments after its birth. The grief for the whole family is unimaginable. It is particularly tragic when preventable had the medical staff lived up to their standard duty of care. Call us today at 216-687-0900 or contact us online. We work with grieving families in Cleveland, Lorain, Columbus, Toledo, Akron and throughout Northeast Ohio.