What Caused My Baby’s Heart Attack During Delivery?


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Welcoming a baby into the world is a joyous occasion for expectant parents and their families. Labor and delivery is often met with a mix of fear and happy anticipation, and more often than not, everything goes as expected and mom and baby recover quickly and are perfectly healthy following delivery. There are times, however, when that doesn’t happen, and complications lead to unexpected medical issues that can last a lifetime or even end a life before it’s had a chance to really start.

What Happens During A Heart Attack And After?

One such complication occurs when a baby suffers a heart attack during delivery. A heart attack is when blood flow to the heart is blocked, causing a part of the heart to not receive the oxygen-rich blood that it needs. When a heart attack happens, the heart doesn’t usually stop beating as it does during a cardiac arrest, but the part of the heart that is not receiving enough oxygen will begin to die. A heart attack can be devastating, especially when it happens to a baby during delivery, and may even lead to the child’s death.

There are several reasons that a heart attack may occur in newborns during, or shortly after, delivery. The most common is a congenital heart defect of some kind. A baby’s heart begins to form shortly after conception, and begins to beat with just a few weeks in the womb. A defect can occur for many reasons including: a genetic predisposition, environmental factors, a diabetic mother, or certain medications taken by the mother during pregnancy. Sometimes the cause of a heart defect simply isn’t determinable by doctors though.

Is The Doctor Responsible For My Baby’s Heart Attack?

Heart problems in unborn children are often detectable by ultrasound during pregnancy and can be treated in utero, or shortly after birth. Surgery can fix or help manage the problem and the child can go on to live a normal life. However, when the issue isn’t detected early and the baby suffers a heart attack at birth, it can lead to life-long heart trouble or even death. That is why it so important for expectant mothers to have thorough prenatal care, including ultrasounds and other testing.

If a doctor fails to evaluate ultrasound and test results properly, it can lead to medical conditions of the baby being missed, and a situation that can be treated or corrected early on can become a medical emergency at birth. Simply put, some heart attacks that happen to a baby as it’s born can be prevented and they occur due to medical malpractice or negligence.

What Should I Do Now?

If your baby, or a loved one’s baby, suffered a heart attack during birth, it may have been avoidable. It is important that you have a medical expert review the medical records, including ultrasounds, to determine if it was a preventable case. If it was, you may be entitled to financial compensation to help with the emotional and financial suffering you have undergone. At Ross Feller Casey, we have those medical experts on staff, and they can determine if you have a lawsuit.

Please contact our firm for a free case review. All of our attorneys work on a contingency basis, so there is never a charge unless you receive a financial recovery.

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.