Most babies who are delivered by doctors or midwives are born perfectly healthy after being in the womb for a full-term pregnancy. However, in many cases, babies do not come into the world in that condition. When that happens, newborns often have to spend time in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit. This is undoubtedly a frightening time for parents, watching their infants fight to get better. Unfortunately, in some of these cases, mistakes are made, or the standard of care isn’t met, resulting in devastating outcomes.
The Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, often referred to as the NICU, is a section of the hospital that is responsible for providing care to seriously ill or premature newborns. The neonatal period is typically defined as the first 28 days of a baby’s life. It’s during this time that infants in critical condition are cared for in the NICU.
The NICU is designed to treat various types of medical conditions and illnesses affecting newborns, including:
The staff in the NICU (doctors, nurses, respiratory therapists, and other medical professionals) are specially trained to work with newborns and the issues that are unique to them. They, like all medical professionals, have a duty of care to these babies, and they are expected to maintain the standard of care. Often, that doesn’t happen.
While all newborn babies are delicate, those that are in the NICU require even more careful treatment and close monitoring. Even the smallest of mistakes can result in serious, sometimes lifelong, negative consequences, including permanent brain damage, seizure disorders, developmental disabilities, cerebral palsy (CP), hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy (HIE), and periventricular leukomalacia (PVL).
Some of the most common areas of negligence in the NICU are:
The above are not the only types of mistakes that can lead to birth injury in the NICU; they are simply the most common. Other medical errors, including medication mistakes, and issues with IVs, tubes, and central lines can also cause permanent brain damage in infants, leading to a life-long need for medical care.
When a medical error or negligence occurs in the NICU, the results are often devastating. It’s the responsibility of the NICU staff to perform quick and appropriate medical interventions whenever an issue arises. If they fail to do that, and a birth injury results, it could be considered medical malpractice.
At Ross Feller Casey, we have been helping families in these terrible situations since 2006. Our staff is made up of experienced birth injury attorneys who have unmatched track records of winning medical malpractice lawsuits with landmark financial recoveries for our clients.
If your baby was injured while being treated in the NICU, we can help. One of our on-staff physicians can review your child’s medical records to determine where the negligence occurred, and our attorneys will work on your behalf to get you the compensation you are entitled to.
Contact our office today to schedule your free case evaluation. All medical malpractice cases are handled on a contingency basis, so there are no out-of-pocket charges to you until a financial recovery is made.
Disclaimer: Ross Feller Casey, LLP provides legal advice only after an attorney-client relationship is formed. Our website is an introduction to the firm and does not create a relationship between our attorneys and clients. An attorney-client relationship is formed only after a written agreement is signed by the client and the firm. Because every case is unique, the description of awards and summary of cases successfully handled are not intended to imply or guarantee that same success in other cases. Ross Feller Casey, LLP represents catastrophically injured persons and their families in injury and wrongful death cases, providing legal representation in Pennsylvania and New Jersey.