A neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) is a hospital's intensive care unit for premature and seriously ill newborns.  Every year in the United States, thousands of newborns are admitted into a hospital's NICU.  Babies admitted into a NICU require around the clock care and monitoring.  Unfortunately, this is not always the case which may result in severe injuries and wrongful death due to the malpractice and negligence of those responsible for the care, safety and well being of the infant. 

There are numerous neonatal specialized professionals that provide care to a baby while in a NICU including:

  • Neonatal Clinical Nurse Specialist
  • Neonatal Nurse Practitioner
  • Neonatologists
  • Neonatology Fellow
  • Occupational Therapists
  • Pediatric Resident
  • Physical Therapist
  • Registered Nurse
  • Respiratory Therapist
  • Social Worker
  • Speech Pathologist
  • Technicians

In addition, a NICU is equipped with highly specialized equipment and machines used to care for premature babies and sick newborns.  Examples of such equipment include pressure and cardiopulmonary monitors, respiratory and ventilator machines, incubators and other types of machines which are all used with the intent and purpose of helping babies make a full recovery and go home with their parents and family.  Unfortunately, these very same machines and medical devices can be defective and malfunction at the wrong moment causing serious injuries or wrongful death to the newborn.

NICU medical malpractice and negligence can occur in any hospital and can include:

  • Failure to treat visible signs of jaundice on the first day of life;
  • Failure to check bilirubin levels;
  • Failure to use intensive phototherapy when needed;
  • Failure to perform jaundice screening evaluations;
  • Failure to document and chart jaundice results;
  • Failure to recognize hyperbilirubinemia;
  • Failure to follow-up with jaundiced neonate;
  • Failure to resuscitate newborn at birth;
  • Failure to resuscitate newborn while in NICU;
  • Failure to monitor baby;
  • Failure to notify specialists of baby's condition;
  • Failure to treat without delay;
  • Failure to follow proper procedure;
  • Failure to use proper equipment;
  • Failure to use equipment properly;
  • Failure to document and chart adequately;
  • Failure to follow the chain of command;
  • Failure to treat neonatal hypoglycemia;
  • Failure to treat group B strep infection;
  • Failure to treat infections or sepsis;
  • Failure to provide correct drug dosages;
  • Failure to maintain necessary medical equipment nearby and accessible;
  • Failure to maintain equipment, machines, and medical devices in working condition and avoid malfunctions;
  • Failure to avoid dropping baby or handling infant safely;
  • Failure to avoid medication and prescription drug errors;
  • Failure to diagnose medical conditions;
  • Failure to administer surfactant to the lungs of premature babies or babies with respiratory stress disorder (RSD);
  • Failure to transfer baby after delivery to hospital's own neonatal intensive care unit or other hospital's NICU with appropriate level 3 care;
  • Failure to maintain NICU sterilized and safe from the spread of infections and illnesses;
  • Failure to avoid treatment delays;
  • Failure to discharge newborn prematurely from NICU;
  • Failure to treat retinopathy of prematurity (ROP) and other conditions;
  • Failure to insert intravenous needles correctly;
  • Failure to insert feeding tubes correctly.

There are hundreds of conditions premature babies and seriously ill newborns may suffer which could cause admittance into an NICU. 

Other than birth injuries and birth defects, the most common conditions treated in a NICU include:

  • Anemia
  • Apnea
  • Body Temperature Problems
  • Brain Bleeds
  • Breathing Problems
  • Bronchopulmonary Dysplasia (BPD)
  • Coarctation of the Aorta
  • Congenital Heart Defects
  • Feeding Problems
  • Heart Problems
  • Heart Valve Abnormalities
  • Hypoglycemia
  • Infections
  • Intrauterine Growth Restriction (IUGR)
  • Intraventricular Hemorrhage (IVH)
  • Jaundice
  • Lung Problems
  • Macrosomia
  • Necrotizing Enterocolitis (NEC)
  • Patent Ductus Arteriosus (PDA)
  • Persistent Pulmonary Hypertension (PPHN)
  • Pneumonia
  • Respiratory Distress Syndrome (RDS)
  • Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV)
  • Retinopathy of Prematurity (ROP)
  • Sepsis
  • Septal Defects
  • Tetralogy of Fallot
  • Transposition of the Great Arteries

You can reach Personal Injury Lawyer J.P. Gonzalez-Sirgo by dialing his direct number at (786) 272-5841, calling the main office at (305) 461-1095, or Toll Free at 1 (866) 71-CLAIM or email Attorney Gonzalez-Sirgo directly at[email protected].

J.P. Gonzalez-Sirgo
J.P. Gonzalez-Sirgo, P.A.
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