Overventilation and Hypocarbia

overventilation birth injury Overventilation Birth Injury 

What is Overventilation?

Some newborn babies, particularly premature births, need the assistance of a ventilator to help regulate respiratory function and provide oxygen. The baby is hooked up to a breathing machine to mitigate issues like apnea and respiratory failure. Administered and monitored correctly, this ventilator can save the life of the newborn. But when the medical team improperly monitors the process, the child may be given too much oxygen (overventilation) and exhale too much carbon dioxide (hypocarbia). Overventilation can cause lung damage. Hypocarbia, which is insufficient levels of carbon dioxide in the bloodstream, can injure the brain and lead to further complications, such as cerebral palsy, mental retardation, or a condition called periventricular leukomalacia.

Symptoms

Signs of overventilation and hypocarbia include:

  • bluish hue to the baby’s skin
  • weak or slow reflexes
  • low heart rate
  • organ dysfunction
  • lack of muscle tone

Risks

Babies are at risk of experiencing overventilation and hypocarbia whenever they require breathing assistance. Several different issues may demand the need for assisted respiration, including asphyxia (baby is not getting enough oxygen), respiratory distress syndrome, and premature birth. Babies whose lungs have been damaged prior to or during birth or babies with lungs that have not fully developed are especially susceptible to overventilation and hypocarbia.

Birth Injury Lawyers in Michigan

With proper medical care, hypocarbia caused by overventilation is entirely preventable. The brain damage caused by hypocarbia may be grounds for a medical malpractice claim. If you believe that your child was neglected by medical professionals and suffered overventilation from assisted respiration, please call Thurswell Law at 248-354-2222. Our attorneys have experience in dealing with birth injury lawsuits in the state of Michigan. We will get you the monetary compensation you deserve.

(248) 354-2222

1000 Town Center, Suite 500
Southfield, MI 48075

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