Blood sugar or glucose provides babies with energy. Glucose passes through the placenta to the baby before birth. Once the baby is born, the newborn gets glucose through breastmilk or formula. Neonatal hypoglycemia occurs when a newborn baby has a low blood sugar level within the first few days of birth. The pediatrician needs to diagnose and treat the condition promptly. If your baby sustains birth injuries due to undiagnosed or untreated neonatal hypoglycemia, you should talk to the Syracuse birth injury attorneys of DeFrancisco & Falgiatano.What is Neonatal Hypoglycemia?
Neonatal hypoglycemia occurs when a baby’s blood sugar level causes symptoms or drops below a safe age-based range. Low blood sugar levels are more likely in the presence of certain risk factors including when a baby is smaller than anticipated for gestational age, the baby has slower-than-anticipated growth in the womb during the pregnancy, the baby’s mother has diabetes, or the baby is born prematurely or with a serious infection. Symptoms of neonatal hypoglycemia are not always apparent, but they may show up as pale or bluish skin, irritability, loose muscles, vomiting, poor feeding, poor breathing or grunting, difficulties staying warm, seizures, sweating, shakiness or tremors. Worsening hypoglycemia can result in seizures, loss of consciousness, visual disturbance, confusion, or abnormal behavior.
Newborns at risk for neonatal hypoglycemia may need to undergo a blood test using a heel stick. Usually, a baby’s blood sugar should stay at a normal range for 12-24 hours before the blood tests stop. Sometimes, babies with low blood sugar require additional feedings or formula. Others may be administered a sugar solution by mouth or intravenously until blood sugar levels are maintained.Birth Injury Arising Out of Neonatal Hypoglycemia
Infants who develop severe neonatal hypoglycemia have a high probability of developing subsequent neurodevelopmental problems, neurological problems or learning disabilities. Sometimes severe low blood sugar can trigger seizures or heart failure. When neonatal hypoglycemia isn’t appropriately diagnosed and treated, it can lead to a permanent disability like cerebral palsy. It is important for a baby to be tested and treated immediately. The brain needs the right amount of glucose to function.
A simple blood test for blood glucose levels can diagnose the problem. A baby’s gestational age and overall health will affect treatment.Liability
In order to obtain compensation for birth injuries caused by undiagnosed, untreated, or improperly treated hypoglycemia, your lawyer will need to establish liability. This requires you to show it’s more likely than not: (1) you were owed a professional standard of care, (2) departure from the professional standard of care, (3) causation, and (4) damages. In New York, the professional standard of care depends on what other reasonably prudent health care providers in the same specialty in Syracuse would have done under the same or similar circumstances. If, for example, a reasonably prudent obstetrician-gynecologist in Syracuse would have ordered blood tests immediately after birth because of your risk factors and your obstetrician-gynecologist and pediatrician did not do them, and as a result your child developed neurological problems, you may have a basis to sue for birth injuries.Damages
You may be able to recover compensatory damages after establishing liability for a birth injury caused by undiagnosed or improperly treated neonatal hypoglycemia. Compensatory damages are damages intended to put you back in the position you would have been in had there been no professional negligence. They can reimburse for both economic losses and noneconomic losses. The amount of damages you can recover depends on the nature and severity of your baby’s birth injuries.Retain a Seasoned Attorney in Syracuse
If your baby sustained birth injuries as a result of neonatal hypoglycemia, you should discuss your situation with the seasoned lawyers of DeFrancisco & Falgiatano about what happened. We represent people in Rochester and Syracuse. We also represent clients in Upstate New York cities like Oswego, Lyons, Oneida, Cooperstown, Binghamton, Auburn, Canandaigua, Wampsville, Watertown, Ithaca, Utica, Elmira, Lowville and Herkimer. Call DeFrancisco & Falgiatano at 315-479-9000 or via our online form.