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by Jeff Rasansky - June 14, 2017
Jeff Rasansky
Jeff Rasansky, managing partner of Rasansky Law Firm, is an aggressive Dallas personal injury lawyer with more than 25 years of legal experience.

Has your child suffered a birth injury due to an error in NICU?

While some types of complications which occur in the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) cannot be contributed to medical malpractice, errors and mistakes made by doctors and medical professionals may allow you and your family to recover compensation through a birth injury claim. Call us at 1-877-405-4313 for a free consultation.

When it comes to birth injuries, medical malpractice is defined as treatment which falls below the accepted standard of practice in the medical community resulting in injury or death to the newborn child. Not all birth injuries are caused by malpractice, but if a medication error or other forms of negligence in the NICU led to serious complications such as a brain injury, our Texas attorneys are happy to review the facts of your case for free and explain the options available to you and your family moving forward.

Due to Texas’ tort reform laws, bringing a birth injury case can unfortunately be a complex process. Luckily, most birth injury attorneys (including us) take these types of cases on contingency, meaning you never have to risk a penny out of pocket to have your attorney pursue a claim. Experience is key with birth injury lawsuits, and you’d be hard pressed to find a law firm in Texas with more relevant experience than Rasansky Law Firm. To learn more, call us today at 1-877-405-4313.

Types of errors which commonly occur in NICU.

An estimated 44,000-98,000 people die every year due to medical errors, and according to research, errors with the potential to cause serious harm are 800% more-likely to occur in the NICU when compared to other hospital settings.

Birth Injuries in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit

Errors in the NICU

Although infants in the neonatal intensive care unit are often at a greater risk of injury caused by a wide array of errors, medication errors in the NICU are particularly common. Neonates (especially premature or low-birth-weight babies) are particularly vulnerable to the adverse effects of medication errors due to their inability to communicate and their limited ability to “buffer” such mistakes.

Common causes of medication errors in NICU:

  • Wrong medication, dose, schedule, or infusion rate.
  • Errors in administration or method of treatment.
  • Patient misidentification.
  • Errors or delays in prognosis.
  • Errors in the performance of an operation or procedure.
  • Other system failures.

Because medication must be administered according to the infant’s weight, any and all doses must be specifically calculated (and may need to be updated as the infant gains or loses weight). Due to the low weight of infants in NICU, there is a very real risk of “tenfold medication errors” where a misplaced (or overlooked) decimal point could result in a dose ten times higher than recommended. Almost half (47%) of all errors in the NICU are directly attributed to the wrong medication, dosage, schedule, or infusion rate.

Medication errors in the NICU also commonly occur in the route of administrating the drug (e.g., breast milk mistakenly being given intravenously). One reason for this is that neonatal feeding tubes and intravenous lines (and their hubs) are often similar in appearance and size. Patient misidentification is another serious concern when it comes to infants, as one study found that around 25% of serious NICU medication errors involved misidentification.

Other types of errors common to neonatal intensive care units:

  • Failure to properly ventilate or treat breathing problems (e.g., respiratory distress syndrome, apnea, etc).
  • Failure to diagnose and treat conditions such as jaundice/kernicterus, sepsis, meconium aspiration syndrome, etc.
  • Failure to properly monitor the baby and respond to distress signals.
  • Failure to perform necessary resuscitation maneuvers.
  • Intubation errors (e.g., improper insertion of a breathing tube, feeding tube, IV or central line).
  • Failure to properly diagnose and treat bleeding in the brain (intracranial/intraventricular/subgaleal hemorrhages).
  • Failure to promptly diagnose and treat hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy (HIE).

Discuss your options with an attorney.

With over 25 years of experience handing (and winning) birth injury cases in Texas, the team at Rasansky Law Firm is experienced, equipped, and ready to help you with your claim. If you have questions or would like to discuss the facts of your case, call us today at 1-877-405-4313 for a free consultation. We’re confident in our ability to help families pursue justice and recover compensation, and that is why we never ask clients for a single penny out of pocket to hire us.

Speak With a Texas Birth Injury Attorney For Free

The attorneys at Rasansky Law Firm are happy to speak to you about your potential case free of charge. If we can help with your claim, we’ll do so for no out-of-pocket cost to you. Call us 24/7 at (214) 651-6100, or toll-free at 1-877-405-4313.

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