Verdicts & Settlements: Overventilation Injuries

A number of infants are born with respiratory problems and require the aid of a ventilator. As a Michigan law firm specializing in birth injury, our cerebral palsy attorneys see a number of cases in which infants—especially premature infants—are injured by mechanical ventilation. Over-oxygenation and overventilation injuries are instances of medical malpractice that often result in lung damage, brain damage, and associated complications like cerebral palsy.

In this section, we’ll discuss an example of a past ventilation settlement. If you know an infant who suffered a birth injury related to ventilation, we urge you to seek legal help from our Michigan cerebral palsy and birth injury attorneys—you may call our legal experts toll-free at (888) 592-1857 or fill out our online contact form.

1. Child Wins $4.5 Million
Overventilation Results in Decreased Cerebral Blood Flow, Leads to Brain Injury, Cerebral Palsy, and Physical and Cognitive Impairments

In this case, the baby was born 29 and a half weeks gestation. After birth, the baby was ventilated and given medication to improve the capacity of his lung’s to utilize oxygen. During his neonatal stay, the baby’s lungs matured, but the hospital failed to appropriately decrease his ventilation. The resulting hypocarbia (reduced CO2 levels in the blood) caused cysts and softening of the brain tissue. The brain damage he sustained lead to spastic quadriplegic cerebral palsy, requiring 24-hour care for life.

2. Child Wins $4.35 Million

A 35-year old mother underwent a C-Section after developing preeclampsia, and her twins were born normal (though premature). Both babies were sent to the NICU. One twin developed breathing issues. Medical staff provided oxygen via CPAP but set the pressure too high, resulting in low oxygen levels, low heart rate and poor blood circulation. This also caused air in the child’s chest, which caused a collapsed lung and needed to be removed with a needle and then a chest tube (which was improperly placed). These errors resulted in low oxygen levels for 60 hours. The twin now has brain damage, cerebral palsy, developmental delays, cognitive deficits and (unrelated) hearing loss.

3. Child Wins $1.55 Million
Overventilation Leads to Hypocarbia with Resultant Cerebral Palsy and Mobility Impairments

In this case, a 17-year-old mother delivered her baby nine weeks prematurely. Moments after birth, the premature child exhibited problems breathing and was placed on a poorly-controlled ventilator. Ultimately, the child was over-ventilated and developed hypocarbia (reduced CO2 levels in the blood), holes in his lungs, and irrevocable brain damage. As the victim aged, he experienced impaired walking and cerebral palsy.

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