Umbilical Catheter Misplacement

nurse hands working with umbilical catheter in newborn

If you believe that your child’s severe medical complications were caused by umbilical catheter misplacement, it may be time to consult a birth injury lawyer. Read on to learn what qualifies as malpractice and what to expect from the process when filing a birth injury medical malpractice lawsuit. 

What Is an Umbilical Catheter?

An umbilical catheter can be a lifesaver for preterm newborns or full term newborns that experience complications after birth. An umbilical catheter is a long, soft, hollow tube that provides intravenous access to the infant and forgoes the need for painful repeated needle sticks. 

There are two types of umbilical catheters. The umbilical arterial catheter (used for continuous measurement of arterial blood pressure and frequent arterial blood gasses or other blood samples) and venous catheters (used for intravenous fluid and medication administration. Can also be used to administer life saving blood products). As with any indwelling central (in the body) catheter, an umbilical catheter requires strict care. The catheter’s port must be accessed only after being cleansed. They should be accessed as infrequently as possible. Intravenous fluid changes should be clustered and performed at the same time to decrease exposure of bacteria. When exposed to bacteria, the umbilical line can become a source of infection.

Since newborns are especially fragile, placement of an umbilical catheter can be a tricky proposition. Proper insertion requires finding the right blood vessels. After the umbilical cord is cut, the catheter is placed and an X-ray is obtained to determine if the final position is correct. If an umbilical catheter is misplaced, it can cause serious problems, including blood clots, interrupted flow of blood to limbs or organs, hypertension, and of course infection. 

If your child has experienced complications due to an umbilical catheter misplacement, those issues could be defined as medical malpractice, in which case you could be eligible for compensation. 

What Do You Need to Prove in a Medical Malpractice Case Involving a Misplaced Umbilical Catheter?

The misplacement of a catheter may be difficult to ascertain for certain by anyone but a trained professional. Understanding the warning signs of a misplaced catheter can be helpful in helping those whose babies have been harmed decide to reach out to a lawyer.

  • Blood clots 
  • Liver damage as a result of improper umbilical venous line placement
  • Visible infection at the insertion site 
  • Multiple attempts to place catheter or frequent repositioning of catheter
  • Catheter not removed when no longer needed

How Are Delivery Malpractice Cases Resolved?

If you suspect that your child’s injury is the result of negligence or carelessness by a medical professional during childbirth, our birth injury lawyers will conduct an in-depth investigation to determine if any wrongdoing occurred. Backed by decades of combined medical and legal experience, our team has recovered hundreds of millions on behalf of children who have been harmed during the birthing and postnatal periods, such as umbilical catheter misplacement or even other injuries:

Our Dedicated Birth Injury Division 

The accomplished team at JJS has over 40 years of experience representing both mothers and newborns who have suffered because of a medical professional’s negligence. We have recovered hundreds of millions on behalf of victims of birth injuries, including record-breaking verdicts in many states. 

  • $33.5 Million Delayed C-Section: A Tennessee jury awarded this record-breaking verdict after finding that delays in performing an urgently needed cesarean section resulted in a baby developing severe brain damage and cerebral palsy.
  • $24.25 Million Failure to Diagnose: A record-breaking medical malpractice jury verdict in the District of Columbia, obtained for a child who suffered brain damage and cerebral palsy because her doctors failed to properly diagnose and respond to an airway obstruction.
  • $18.1 Million Mismanaged Labor and Delivery: Verdict obtained in Iowa on behalf of a child who developed spastic quadriplegic cerebral palsy after the mother was taken off of continuous electronic fetal monitoring and placed on intermittent monitoring despite known risk factors.

Nationally recognized for our work in handling significant birth injury cases throughout the country, partners Howard Janet, Kenneth Suggs, Gerald Jowers and Patrick Thronson are committed to uncovering malpractice and fighting for maximum compensation for our clients. Our team also includes a board-certified OBGYN, attorney Giles Manley, MD, who has more than 20 years of experience in the medical profession, during which time he delivered thousands of newborns. 

Our track record of successful outcomes demonstrates our commitment to working for the justice and fair compensation our clients deserve. We fight for birth injury victims and their families, and there are no fees unless your case is won. Contact us for a free consultation to discuss your case and learn about your rights.

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