Medical Malpractice Lawyers for Injuries Associated with Apnea and Bradycardia – $29,000,000 Jury Verdict

For over 40 years the Fitzgerald Law Firm hase been fighting for children with birth injuries. The law firm has successfully represented hundreds of birth injury / medical malpractice cases, including one involving apnea and bradycardia that resulted in a jury verdict for $29,000,000. For a free consultation with the experienced birth injury lawyers at The Fitzgerald Law Firm, please call toll free at 1-800-323-9900 or submit the firm’s online consultation form.

What is Apnea?

Apnea is a period of time where the breathing stops for a at least 20 seconds. If the infant’s skin color becomes pale, blue or purple or if the infant has bradycardia, less than 20 seconds with no breathing is also apnea.

What is Bradycardia?

Bradycardia is the medical term for the slowing of a heart rate to less than 100 beats per minute in a prematue baby. Bradycardia does not just result from apnea in infants, but can also occur as a reflex, such as with the placement of a feeding tube or due to gastric distension.

Causes of Apnea and Bradycardia

There are several causes or risk factors for apnea and bradycardia, including infection, low blood sugar, low blood oxygen levels, fluctuating temperature, seizures, and airway blockage. If you retain The Fitzgerald Law Firm to represent your injured child, we will thoroughly examine all relevant medical records and consult with medical experts to determine if medical negligence was responsible for your child’s injuries.

Treatment of Apnea and Bradycardia

There are several treatments used for premature apnea and bradycardia. Sometimes simple physical stimulation such as stroking or tickling of the feet can help treat light cases of apnea. Also, the infant should be placed on his or her back with his or her head and neck straight to facilitate breathing. Caffeine medication can be used to chemically stimulate breathing. Small tubes may be inserted into the baby’s nose to help deliver air; this is called CPAP, which is short for continuous airways pressure. If the apnea is severe, a breathing machine may be used.

Prematurity, Apnea, and Bradycardia

Approximately 70% of premature babies born at less than 34 weeks gestation period develop some sort of apnea or bradycardia. This is because the respiratory center in the baby’s brain is not fully developed. Apneas are especially common when a baby is sleeping. As the baby develops further, typically after 35 weeks, apneas and bradycardia usually are much rarer. Babies are typically kept in the hospital until symptoms of bradycardia and apnea are gone.