Metabolic Acidosis – Medical Malpractice Lawyer

$31,575,000 Jury Verdict – Medical Malpractice Lawsuit Involving Metabolic Acidosis

For over 40 years, The Fitzgerald Law Firms have been committed to fighting for children with birth injuries, including those resulting from metabolic acidosis (acidemia). In one case involving metabolic acidosis (acidemia), our client experienced respiratory distress after birth. After an initial observation of signs of metabolic acidosis and a gradual increase of the oxygen saturation level, no blood-gas analysis was performed for 9 hours. The Fitzgerald Law Firm argued that the failure to properly monitor our client’s blood-gas level and failure to diagnose the metabolic acidosis when the first signs of the condition were evident resulted in permanent brain damage, including cerebral palsy, spastic diplegia, severe mental retardation, and deficits of his fine motor skills and gross motor skills. The jury awarded the child and mother $31,575,000.

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What is Metabolic Acidosis (Acidemia)?

Metabolic acidosis is common in newborns, especially in association with prematurity and oxygen deprivation at birth (perinatal asphyxia). Metabolic acidosis is a disturbance in the body’sacid-base balance. This causes excessive acidity of the blood. Metabolic acidosis manifests as a normal PaCO2 with a negative base excess. Metabolic acidosis in preterm infants may be associated with hypoxaemia, hypotension or poor tissue perfusion, anaemia, infection or sepsis, or strenuous activity (respiratory distress).

A late metabolic acidosis may develop in premature infants that receive high protein or amino acid intakes. This may be exacerbated by reduced reabsorption of bicarbonate from the proximal tubules and reduced new base formation by the kidneys of premature infants.

Important Causes of Metabolic Acidosis in Newborns

  • Birth asphyxia
  • Sepsis
  • Respiratory distress
  • Hypovolaemia
  • Low cardiac output and poor tissue perfusion
  • Hypothermia
  • Anaemia
  • Renal bicarbonate losses
  • Cardiac failure / congenital cardiac anomalies
  • Inborn error of metabolism

For a free consultation, please contact the The Fitzgerald Law Firm. If we are retained, we will attempt to identify the cause and time of the injury to your child’s brain. If that injury could have been avoided, we will seek to recover compensation from those responsible.