It is critical for doctors to closely monitor a baby for signs of fetal distress before, during, and after labor and delivery. Fetal distress signs, such as abnormal fetal heart rate or reduced movement, can indicate acidosis. Left untreated for a long time, an infant with fetal acidosis could suffer serious, permanent neurological injuries. Treating the disabilities can be very expensive. If your baby was harmed by acidosis, you may be able to recover damages. At DeFrancisco & Falgiatano, our Upstate New York birth injury lawyers may be able to represent you. We assist children and parents in cities such as Syracuse, Rochester, Albany, and Buffalo.What is Fetal Acidosis?
Fetal acidosis occurs if an unborn baby has high acid levels in their blood. Arterial blood is too acidic if it drops below 7.35 on the pH scale. Often, acidosis occurs because a baby is deprived of oxygen for a long time during labor or after birth. When there is insufficient oxygen, the result may be the death of cells and even brain damage. Fetal acidosis can be acute or chronic.
To develop safely, a fetus needs to be able to trade oxygen and carbon dioxide with the mother. When there is an interruption in this exchange, the result may be acidosis. Acidosis can be a result of an umbilical cord that is wrapped around a baby’s neck or compressed, fetal positioning in the womb or birth canal, shoulder dystocia, macrosomia, cephalopelvic disproportion, and obstructed delivery. You can hold a health care provider accountable if the conditions that caused the acidosis resulted from medical negligence.Liability for Acidosis
Not every instance of acidosis is a result of medical negligence. You may be able to recover damages for your baby’s acidosis if you can establish that it is more likely than not that your obstetrician-gynecologist or other health care provider departed from the professional standard of care and caused the condition.
Often, it is necessary to retain an expert to provide an opinion on what the professional standard of care was, how your provider deviated from it, and whether that deviation caused the acidosis and your baby’s injuries. Your obstetrician-gynecologist’s professional standard of care will depend on what a reasonably competent obstetrician-gynecologist in Upstate New York would have done when presented with the same or similar circumstances. You might have a claim, for example, if your baby’s acidosis was caused by an obstetrician’s misuse or overuse of Pitocin to initiate or to further labor, and this departed from the accepted medical practices of other Upstate New York obstetricians.Certificate of Merit
We will need to consult an expert even before filing a lawsuit. New York law requires us to file a certificate of merit with the claim. The certificate must certify that we consulted with a medical expert who reviewed the records and facts and concluded that your case has merit. In other words, an expert must believe that there is a reasonable basis for the lawsuit and that your health care provider departed from accepted medical practices, causing acidosis and birth injuries, such as neurological problems. Assuming that the acidosis developed or was not treated due to the actions of your obstetrician-gynecologist, we will likely consult with a board-certified obstetrician-gynecologist.Damages
If our attorneys can establish liability for your baby’s birth injuries stemming from preventable acidosis or a failure to address it, we may be able to recover compensatory damages on your behalf. The amount of damages depends on the harm that results from the acidosis.
Often, acidosis results in neurological injuries. Generally, you can recover economic damages, such as medical bills, rehabilitation, therapy, and out-of-pocket costs, to address the injuries. For example, if your child suffers from a seizure disorder as a result of the acidosis, they may need lifelong medical treatment and medication for seizures. You may be able to recover the costs of this care. You may also be able to recover non-economic damages, such as your baby’s pain and suffering and loss of enjoyment of life.Consult a Birth Injury Attorney in Upstate New York
Fetal acidosis is often preventable and should be treated early to avoid permanent harm. If your baby was harmed by acidosis that was left undiagnosed or untreated, you should contact the experienced birth injury attorneys at DeFrancisco & Falgiatano to see whether you have a viable claim. Contact us at 833-200-2000 or via our online form.