Cytotec & Delayed C-Section Cause Birth Asphyxia, HIE, Cerebral Palsy, Intellectual Disabilities & Developmental Delays
A baby who was experiencing birth asphyxia and fetal distress was not delivered for several hours after the distress began. This caused her to have hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy (HIE), seizures, brain damage, cerebral palsy, developmental delays and intellectual (cognitive) disabilities. Throughout this page, award-winning Michigan hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy lawyer Jesse Reiter will explain the relationship between birth asphyxia and medical malpractice.
A mother was told she needed to have labor induced because she was at 41 weeks of pregnancy, which is called a post-term pregnancy. She was given Cytotec for labor induction. Four hours later, the baby’s heart rate became very slow (nonreassuring), indicating fetal distress. This lasted for over an hour. The physician noted the baby’s distress in the mother’s chart but took absolutely no steps to quickly deliver the child. In fact, the baby was not delivered until 4 hours after the fetal distress began. At birth, the newborn had Apgar scores of zero, meaning she needed critical medical interventions. She was resuscitated, had a breathing tube put in her upper airway and was placed on a breathing machine.
Sadly, the baby’s delivery had been delayed for too long. The prolonged birth asphyxia (oxygen deprivation) caused permanent brain damage. Soon after birth, the newborn was diagnosed with hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy and she began having seizures. She was later diagnosed with cerebral palsy, developmental delays and intellectual disabilities.
AWARD WINNING HYPOXIC ISCHEMIC ENCEPHALOPATHY LAWYERS HELPING CHILDREN WHO HAVE CEREBRAL PALSY, DEVELOPMENTAL DISABILITIES
The award winning birth injury attorneys at Reiter & Walsh ABC Law Centers have helped dozens of children affected by hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy and cerebral palsy. Jesse Reiter, president of ABC Law Centers, has been focusing solely on birth injury cases for over 28 years, and most of his cases involve hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy (HIE) and cerebral palsy. Partners Jesse Reiter and Rebecca Walsh are currently recognized as being two of the best medical malpractice lawyers in America by U.S. News and World Report 2015, which also recognized ABC Law Centers as one of the best medical malpractice law firms in the nation.
If your child experienced a birth injury and now has seizures, HIE, brain damage, cerebral palsy or any other long-term condition, contact Reiter & Walsh today at 888-419-2229. Our award winning birth injury lawyers are available 24/7 to speak with you.
BIRTH ASPHYXIA REQUIRES A PROMPT C-SECTION TO PREVENT BRAIN DAMAGE & HYPOXIC ISCHEMIC ENCEPHALOPATHY (HIE).
With proper fetal heart rate monitoring, birth asphyxia will be detected during labor and delivery (and during prenatal testing). It is the standard of care to begin monitoring the baby’s heart rate as soon as the mother is admitted for labor (or labor induction). In addition, when a hospital holds one of its units out as being a labor and delivery unit, the unit must have the capacity to quickly perform a C-section delivery. Failure to properly monitor a baby’s heart rate and failure to perform a quick C-section delivery when the baby is in distress is considered negligence.
Indeed, when birth asphyxia occurs, the medical team must act quickly. Sometimes maneuvers can be performed that alleviate the asphyxia. However, while these maneuvers are taking place, preparations should be made for an emergency C-section delivery. The longer the oxygen deprivation is allowed to occur in the baby, the higher the risk of permanent brain damage. Some conditions require delivery in a matter of minutes, such as a complete placental abruption and complete umbilical cord compression. There is no excuse for missing nonreassuring heart tracings (fetal distress / birth asphyxia) and failing to act when these tracings occur.
Listed below are some common conditions that can cause fetal distress and birth asphyxia:
- Umbilical cord problems, such as a nuchal cord (cord wrapped around baby’s neck), umbilical cord prolapse, short umbilical cord and cord in a true knot
- Ruptured uterus
- Preeclampsia / eclampsia
- Placental abruption
- Placenta previa
- Anesthesia mistakes, which can cause blood pressure problems in the mother, including a hypotensive crisis. This can greatly decreases the supply of oxygen-rich blood going to the baby, causing birth asphyxia.
- Oligohydramnios (low amniotic fluid)
- Premature rupture of the membranes (PROM) / premature birth
- Prolonged and arrested labor
- Intracranial hemorrhages (brain bleeds), which can be caused by a traumatic delivery. Forceps and vacuum extractors can cause brain bleeds. Sometimes intense contractions (hyperstimulation) caused by labor induction drugs (Pitocin and Cytotec) can cause head trauma. Mismanagement of cephalopelvic disproportion (CPD), abnormal presentations (face or breech presentation), and shoulder dystocia also put the baby at risk of experiencing birth trauma and birth asphyxia.
- Hyperstimulation caused by Pitocin and Cytotec can also cause oxygen deprivation that gets progressively worse.
- Fetal stroke
- Postmaturity syndrome
- Placental insufficiency and intrauterine growth restriction (IUGR)
HOW DO THE LABOR DRUGS CYTOTEC & PITOCIN CAUSE BIRTH ASPHYXIA & HYPOXIC ISCHEMIC ENCEPHALOPATHY (HIE)?
Cytotec and Pitocin can cause contractions that are so fast and strong that the placenta does not have enough time to recharge with a fresh supply of oxygen-rich blood for the baby. The placenta is the organ that carries the baby’s sole source of oxygen to her from the mother. Oxygen-rich blood travels from the mother, through the placenta and then into the baby through the umbilical cord. When the placenta can’t perform properly, the baby can be deprived of oxygen, resulting in birth asphyxia.
Hyperstimulation is the term used to describe contractions that are too fast and strong, caused by Cytotec and Pitocin. When hyperstimulation occurs, the mother can have a hypertonic uterus, which is when the uterus (womb) is essentially experiencing a continuous contraction. Indeed, hyperstimulation and a hypertonic uterus are obstetrical emergencies. However, when these conditions start to cause birth asphyxia, nonreassuring heart tracings will occur, alerting the medical team that the baby needs to be delivered right away. Failure to quickly deliver the baby can cause hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy and brain damage.
WHAT ARE BIRTH ASPHYXIA & HYPOXIC ISCHEMIC ENCEPHALOPATHY (HIE) & HOW DO THEY CAUSE CEREBRAL PALSY & INTELLECTUAL / DEVELOPMENTAL DISABILITIES?
Hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy is a brain injury caused by oxygen deprivation in the baby and reduced blood flow to the baby’s brain. HIE can progress to permanent brain damage, which can cause the child to have cerebral palsy, seizures, intellectual disabilities and developmental delays.
There is a groundbreaking treatment for hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy called hypothermia treatment. During hypothermia treatment, a baby’s core body temperature is cooled to a few degrees below normal for 72 hours. This treatment must be giving within 6 hours of the time the oxygen-depriving insult occurred. Since HIE frequently occurs during labor and delivery, hypothermia treatment must usually be given within 6 hours of birth – within 6 hours of the occurrence of birth asphyxia. Research shows that hypothermia treatment halts almost every injurious process that starts to occur when a baby experiences an oxygen-depriving insult. The treatment can prevent a baby with HIE from developing cerebral palsy or it can reduce the severity of the CP.
Sadly, hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy evolves into permanent brain damage in many babies. In addition to cerebral palsy, seizures, developmental delays and intellectual disabilities, HIE can cause motor disorders, hydrocephalus, learning disabilities and microcephaly.
BIRTH ASPHYXIA OFTEN CAUSES PERIVENTRICULAR LEUKOMALACIA (PVL) IN PREMATURE BABIES.
Birth asphyxia usually causes hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy in term babies while premature babies who experience birth asphyxia frequently develop periventricular leukomalacia (PVL). PVL refers to white matter brain injury, characterized by softening and death of white matter near the lateral brain ventricles, which provide pathways for cerebral spinal fluid. When the white matter tissue softens and dies, cysts filled with fluid may be left behind.
Of course, sometimes term babies develop periventricular leukomalacia and premature babies develop hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy. HIE usually involves damage to the basal ganglia, cerebral cortex or watershed regions of the brain, but it sometimes includes periventricular leukomalacia (PVL). Like HIE, periventricular leukomalacia can cause cerebral palsy, seizures, hydrocephalus, intellectual disabilities, developmental disabilities, motor disorders, microcephaly, learning disabilities and seizures.
BIRTH INJURY & HYPOXIC ISCHEMIC ENCEPHALOPATHY ATTORNEYS HELPING CHILDREN FOR ALMOST 3 DECADES
If you are seeking the help of a birth injury lawyer, it is very important to choose a lawyer and firm that focus solely on birth injury cases. Reiter & Walsh ABC Law Centers is a national birth injury law firm that has been helping children with birth injuries for almost 3 decades.
Birth injury lawyer Jesse Reiter, president of ABC Law Centers, has been focusing solely on birth injury cases for over 28 years, and most of his cases involve hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy (HIE) and cerebral palsy. Partners Jesse Reiter and Rebecca Walsh are currently recognized as being two of the best medical malpractice lawyers in America by U.S. News and World Report 2015, which also recognized ABC Law Centers as being one of the best medical malpractice law firms in the nation. The lawyers at ABC Law Centers have won numerous awards for their advocacy of children and are members of the Birth Trauma Litigation Group (BTLG) and the Michigan Association for Justice (MAJ).
If your child was diagnosed with a birth injury, such as cerebral palsy, a seizure disorder or hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy (HIE), the award winning birth injury lawyers at ABC Law Centers can help. We have helped children throughout the country obtain compensation for lifelong treatment, therapy and a secure future, and we give personal attention to each child and family we represent. Our nationally recognized birth injury firm has numerous multi-million dollar verdicts and settlements that attest to our success and no fees are ever paid to our firm until we win your case. Email or call Reiter & Walsh ABC Law Centers at 888-419-2229 for a free case evaluation. Our firm’s award winning hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy lawyers are available 24 / 7 to speak with you.
VIDEO: Michigan Hypoxic Ischemic Encephalopathy Lawyer Jesse Reiter Discusses Birth Asphyxia
Watch a video of Michigan hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy lawyer Jesse Reiter and discussing the numerous causes of birth asphyxia, which include misuse of Pitocin and Cytotec and delayed C-section deliveries when fetal distress occurs.