When newborns suffer a brain injury during birth, they are often administered cooling therapy to decrease blood flow to the site of the injury and, therefore, prevent further damage to the brain. This can, no doubt, leave parents worried about the well-being and health of their child, turning childbirth into a tragic event instead of a joyous one.
If your child received cooling therapy, and you have reason to suspect that medical negligence led to the injury for which they required this treatment, do not hesitate to reach out to a lawyer. At Cullan & Cullan, our trial lawyers are also doctors, making us distinctly qualified to advocate for you and your child in civil court. We will not only stand by your side at every step of the legal process but also efficiently handle the complexities of your case. If we do not win your case, you will not owe us a dime.
Call (602) 900-9483 to book a free case review with a Phoenix attorney.
How Does Cooling Therapy Work?
Cooling therapy — also called “neonatal cooling,” “hypothermia therapy,” and “therapeutic hypothermia”— works by cooling down the newborn’s body temperature to below homeostasis. As mentioned, this reduces blood flow to the brain in an attempt to reduce swelling and prevent further damage from happening to the newborn’s brain tissue. To be effective, it must be administered within 6 hours of the birth injury and for a duration of 72 hours.
There are two different ways in which cooling therapy can be administered:
- Whole-body cooling: The entire body is cooled to a temperature between 33.5 and 34 degrees Celsius (92.3 and 93.2 degrees Fahrenheit)
- Selective brain cooling: A cooling cap is placed on the newborn’s head to selectively cool that area of the brain to a temperature between 34.5 and 35 degrees Celsius (94.1 and 95 degrees Fahrenheit)
Both methods are considered effective; which one your baby receives will come down to the neonatal intensive care unit’s (NICU) available equipment and medical protocol.
Identifying Medical Negligence
Cooling therapy is usually used to treat hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy (HIE), a brain dysfunction arising from oxygen deprivation during birth, which is all too often the result of medical negligence. It can be difficult to know whether your child’s HIE was caused by the negligent actions of a health care provider, particularly when many people do not know what constitutes medical negligence.
A few examples of negligence in the delivery room include:
- Failing to monitor labor
- Failing to address umbilical cord complications
- Mismanaging the use of medications such as Oxytocin
- Failing to properly interpret Fetal Heart Monitor Strips
- Failure to monitor the mother’s blood pressure and oxygen levels
- Failure to detect and respond to fetal distress
- Failure of the nurses to call the obstetrician to respond to fetal distress
- Failure to advocate for a Cesarean section if this would prevent injury to the baby or mother
- Misusing vacuum extractors and forceps
- Ignoring the mother’s self-reported symptoms
If a member of your birth team committed any of these negligent acts, it is very likely that you have grounds for a lawsuit. Do not wait to contact a birth injury lawyer. In addition to holding negligent parties accountable, you may be able to recover compensation for any damages suffered, from medical expenses to lost wages, to pain and suffering, to mental anguish, and more.
Phoenix Attorneys with a Track Record of Success
Our team of attorneys are nationally recognized for the verdicts and settlements we have obtained for children injured at birth. We have recovered over $350 million in verdicts and settlements for our clients. To ensure that our clients are provided with the personalized attention they deserve, we only take on a select number of cases at a time. This allows a doctor-lawyer to oversee each and every case, as well as remain accessible to our clients. At Cullan & Cullan, we genuinely care about winning your case so that your family obtains the financial help you need to take care of your child. . Entrust your case to a birth injury attorney team that will put you first.
To learn more about your legal rights, contact a Phoenix attorney online or at (602) 900-9483 today.