Childbirth is supposed to be a joyful occasions when parents welcome a new life into the world. Sadly, there are times when the event turns tragic, and the newborn infant suffers an injury during the process. When it’s at the hands of negligent medical staff, you have a legal right to hold them responsible.
If your child has been diagnosed with birth asphyxia, it’s important that you know what legal options are available to you so that you can make an informed decision about how best to proceed with your case. Our Fort Collins birth asphyxia lawyers can help you pursue compensation.
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What Is Birth Asphyxia?
Birth asphyxia is a condition that occurs when a baby is not receiving enough oxygen at birth. This can be due to complications during labor and delivery. A number of factors can cause birth asphyxia, including:
- Umbilical cord entanglement
- Fetal distress
- Placenta previa
- Maternal hemorrhaging
- Other maternal complications during labor and delivery
Other factors, such preeclampsia and diabetes during pregnancy, can increase the likelihood of umbilical cord problems at birth.
The resulting lack of oxygen can cause serious brain injury and other complications, which can be life-threatening or fatal. In fact, about 2% of all babies in the United States die due to birth asphyxia every year. Children who survive often require long-term care.
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Symptoms of Birth Asphyxia
The symptoms of birth asphyxia are similar to those for sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS). Symptoms include:
- Moderate to severe apnea
- Low Apgar scores upon delivery
- Seizures within 24 hours of birth, if not before
- Difficulty breathing or maintaining normal breathing pattern after birth
Sleep apnea occurs when a person stops breathing temporarily while asleep. Apnea occurs when a person stops breathing for more than 10 seconds. Apnea may also be diagnosed if they stop breathing more than 20 times an hour while asleep.
Causes of Birth Asphyxia
The most common cause of birth asphyxia is umbilical cord compression, which occurs when the umbilical cord is compressed between the baby’s head and something else (such as the mother’s pelvic bone). This can happen during vaginal delivery but is more common during cesarean section deliveries. In addition to umbilical cord compression, other causes include:
- Prolonged labor or rupture of membranes
- Multiple births (twins, triplets, or more)
- Premature birth (before 37 weeks gestation)
- Severe respiratory distress syndrome (RDS)
Birth asphyxia can occur before, during, or after delivery. Sometimes, the lack of oxygen can lead to brain damage in the baby, resulting in hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy (HIE).
Birth asphyxia can have many different causes, but they all have one thing in common: the baby did not receive enough oxygen. Oxygen deprivation can have devastating consequences for infants, including brain damage and death. In fact, one out of four infant deaths within their first year is due to birth asphyxia.
A Fort Collins birth asphyxia lawyer can help to determine the cause of your child’s injury and ensure the negligent party is held liable.
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Injuries from Birth Asphyxia
Birth asphyxia injuries can include injuries such as:
- Brain damage
- Mental retardation
- Cerebral palsy
The brain damage can also lead to cognitive problems, such as memory loss or trouble with learning new things.
If your child has been diagnosed with cerebral palsy or another form of neurodevelopmental disability due to birth asphyxia, you may have grounds for filing an injury claim against those responsible for your child’s injuries.
How to Determine the Signs That Your Baby Has Suffered Birth Asphyxia
The best way to determine if an infant has suffered this type of injury is by performing a brain scan on the baby soon after birth. If there is any damage, it will be visible on the scan.
However, this procedure is not always performed in time because many physicians do not realize that there may be problems until later in life when they develop symptoms of cerebral palsy or other conditions related to brain damage at birth.
Unfortunately, even if there are no visible signs of brain damage on the MRI or CT scan, it does not mean that the baby did not suffer permanent damage during delivery. This is because there are no tests that can show whether or not brain cells have been destroyed or damaged during labor and delivery.
The Importance of a Hiring Birth Asphyxia Attorney
When a child is born with complications, the family is often left to deal with medical bills, as well as emotional and psychological trauma. The parents may be unable to work or care for their other children because of the stress of dealing with the situation.
That’s why it’s important that families seek legal representation from an experienced birth asphyxia attorney in Fort Collins. A lawyer who has worked with many cases like yours will be able to handle your case with care and attention while helping you pursue compensation for your child’s pain and suffering.
A birth asphyxia lawyer may be able to help you recover damages for all economic and non-economic damages related to these injuries if your child survives. In some cases, it may be possible to recover wrongful death damages in the event of your child’s passing.
Lawyers can investigate the circumstances of your case to establish negligence and determine liability, holding the at-fault party responsible for your losses. We can build a claim and file it on time within Colorado’s statute of limitations.
A Birth Asphyxia Lawyer in Fort Collins Can Help You Pursue Compensation
Our birth injury attorneys know how to protect families who are affected by birth asphyxia by helping them seek justice for the death or injuries caused by this condition. A Fort Collins birth asphyxia attorney can help you understand your options when your child suffers this type of injury at birth.
In some cases, the hospital staff will be held responsible for providing proper care during delivery. If this is the case, an attorney can help you file a medical malpractice lawsuit against them so that they are held responsible for any damages they caused while delivering your child.
Contact us today to schedule your consultation.