Mistakes in Newborn Intubation

Baby's armThe moments immediately following the birth of a baby are supposed to be the best time for a mother. They get to hold their baby for the first time and begin bonding. Unfortunately, if something goes wrong and the baby needs resuscitation, it can cause more fear and concern than it does joy and happiness. A medical complication may require the doctor to intubate the baby. Intubation is when a flexible plastic tube is placed into the baby’s trachea in order to help open the airway and allow the baby to be hooked up to ventilator or oxygen machine.

If done properly, intubation can successfully help the infant breathe. However, if there is an issue with the way intubation is done or if not done with the proper timing, it can cause significant damage to the newborn.

Here are some of the mistakes that can arise during newborn intubation:

  • Failure to recognize the need for resuscitation. The obstetrician is supposed to monitor the entire labor and delivery, but if they fail to note the need for resuscitation, the baby may go without oxygen for an extended period of time and suffer brain damage caused by asphyxia or hypoxia.
  • Improper intubation. Malposition of the tube can result in hypoxic injury. If the tube is jammed into the Carina, or inserted into the esophagus, the flow of air to the infant can be diminished or cut off entirely. This can lead to permanent, or fatal injuries.Similarly, misintubation¬†can include inserting the tube into a bronchus rather than the trachea, making a lung vulnerable to collapse. This is also known as right mainstem¬†bronchus intubation.
  • Misplacement of Laryngeal Mouthpiece Airway.¬†When administering anesthetic to newborns, special consideration of their airway size is necessary. Utilizing the correct LMA and inserting it correctly is vital to prevent hypoxemia and brain damage.
  • Choosing the wrong size tube. Cuffed tubes run a half size larger than uncuffed tubes. Where a 3.5 uncuffed tube would be appropriate, a 3.5 cuffed tube might be too big. A tube that is too large can cause serious breathing problems.

Improper newborn intubation can cause neonatal encephalopathy, cerebral palsy, paralysis, vocal cord damage, pneumothorax, or death. As a mother, if your baby has suffered harm at the hands of a negligent medical professional, you have the right to take legal action against the responsible party to seek compensation for things like medical expenses, long-term care, mental anguish, and more. You need the help of a skilled attorney to help you navigate the difficult process.

At Hampton & King, our Houston birth injury attorneys have the experience and skill necessary to obtain the justice you and your family deserve. We are committed advocates focused on righting the wrongs caused by negligent doctors. Allow us to protect your family today.

Contact us to discuss a potential case and to better understand your options.

Categories: Birth Injuries