If your baby is the NICU undergoing brain cooling therapy it is without question one of the scariest days of your life. When a newborn sustains a brain injury during birth, the doctor in the NICU may order cooling therapy (also known as “neonatal cooling,” “hypothermia therapy,” and “therapeutic hypothermia”) to try to slow the progression of your babies brain damage. This treatment must be administered quickly, otherwise it will not be effective.
If your baby suffered brain damage and required cooling therapy, medical malpractice likely played a role. Our trial lawyers at Cullan & Cullan have in-depth experience in these cases, and what’s more, we also hold medical degrees. We can help you determine whether negligence led to your newborn’s injury and, if so, fight to hold the negligent party accountable.
Our nationally acclaimed birth injury law firm has effectively resolved numerous birth injury cases through record-setting verdicts and groundbreaking settlementsWe fully understand that nothing can turn back the clock on your child’s injury, but we can help you fight for the money your baby will need for medical care and a life of pain and suffering. Since we first opened our practice, we have won more than $350 million in rightful compensation for our clients.
Call a compassionate Kansas City attorney at (816) 253-8606 today. Your call is free and there is no fee unless we win.
How Does Therapeutic Hypothermia Work?
Therapeutic hypothermia attempts to protect the newborn’s brain from further damage by using cold temperatures to decrease blood flow to the site of the injury, hence the term “cooling therapy.” Your newborn will either be administered cooling therapy through a cooling cap placed on their head or via whole-body cooling, as determined by medical protocols and the equipment readily available at the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) in which they are being treated.
The therapy itself works by cooling the baby’s body temperature to below that of homeostasis. For selective head cooling with a cooling cap, this temperature is 34.5 to 35 degrees Celsius, or 94.1 to 95 degrees Fahrenheit; for whole-body cooling, this temperature is between 33.5 and 34 degrees Celsius, or 92.3 and 93.2 degrees Fahrenheit. After 72 hours of cooling, the baby’s body temperature is slowly warmed back up to 37 degrees Celsius, or 98.6 degrees Fahrenheit.
Please note that cooling therapy must be administered within 6 hours of when the injury was sustained to be effective and must be continued for 72 hours.
When Medical Negligence Leads to Cooling Therapy
Often, cooling therapy is used to treat hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy (HIE), serious brain dysfunction caused by a lack of oxygen that may be experienced during labor or when the child attempts to pass through the birth canal. Sadly, it is all too common for cases of HIE to be caused by medical malpractice due to the health care team’s failure to address fetal distress. (Robin and team – would formatting this differently – bullets like the AZ content be better?) This can occur when your delivery team, including nurses, nurse midwifes and doctors fail to do the following:
- Fail to carefully monitor labor and delivery
- Fail to properly use medication such as oxytocin
- Fail to detect and respond to fetal distress as evidenced on fetal heart monitors
- Fails to properly treat infection
- Fails to perform a timely cesarean section (C-section)
- Fails to use forceps or vacuum extractors correctly.
- Your babies brain injury can also be caused by a failure to properly resuscitate your baby after it has been born.
Call the Lawyers who are also Medical Doctors
At Cullan & Cullan, our Kansas City legal team fully understand that nothing can turn back the clock on your child’s injury. No one can take your child’s pain away or give them the life you wanted for them, but we can help you fight for the justice & money your child will need for medical care, physical therapy, occupational therapy, wheelchairs, handicapped accessible vans and housing. We can help you fight for compensation for the tremendous pain and suffering the medical negligence caused.
Contact Cullan & Cullan online or call us at (816) 253-8606 to discuss your legal rights.