The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that approximately 500 babies die every year from complications related to birth asphyxia. This includes about 50 percent of all stillbirths in the United States each year. In addition, about 2,000 live births experience serious brain damage due to oxygen deprivation at birth each year.
Birth asphyxia is one of the most common causes of birth injury lawsuits in the US, and it’s one of the most serious types of malpractice cases that an attorney can take on. The good news is that there are steps parents can take to protect themselves after giving birth and filing a lawsuit for birth asphyxia.
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What Is Birth Asphyxia?
Birth asphyxia is a condition that occurs when a baby does not get enough oxygen before, during or immediately after birth. This can happen for a variety of reasons, including the umbilical cord being wrapped around the baby’s neck (a condition known as umbilical cord prolapse), the umbilical cord becoming compressed or damaged by medical equipment, or complications due to premature birth.
The consequences of birth asphyxia can be devastating for both mother and child. If not treated immediately, they may suffer brain damage or even death.
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A Birth Asphyxia Attorney in Lakewood Can Help You Get Compensation
Since most babies who suffer from birth asphyxia are born prematurely or have low birth weights, many do not survive their first weeks or months of life due to related health conditions. Those who do survive often suffer from long-term physical and mental disabilities caused by their injuries during childbirth.
If you have lost a child to birth asphyxia, you may be wondering if you have legal recourse. Birth asphyxia occurs when an infant is deprived of oxygen at birth and suffers brain damage as a result. It is most commonly caused by medical malpractice in which doctors fail to take the necessary precautions during delivery.
A birth asphyxia attorney can help you determine whether or not your child’s injuries were preventable and whether your child’s injuries are compensable under the law.
Causes of Birth Asphyxia
Birth asphyxia occurs when a baby does not receive enough oxygen during delivery, leading to brain damage and other complications that can affect them for life.
The most common causes include:
If a baby’s shoulders get stuck in a narrow birth canal during delivery, it can result in prolonged labor. The use of forceps or other medical devices during delivery can cause birth trauma, including asphyxia.
Complications With the Umbilical Cord
If there are abnormalities of the umbilical cord, such as knotting or twisting of the cord itself, this increases the risk for asphyxia because it reduces blood flow to and from the baby.
If the baby is born prematurely and has immature lungs, they may not be able to oxygenate their blood effectively. Spontaneous delivery can cause premature delivery but misdating a pregnancy and scheduling an induction can also result in an infant being delivered too soon.
Many factors can cause a healthy pregnancy to result in a difficult labor. If a woman has a difficult labor, this can increase the risk of asphyxia, especially if there are complications with the baby’s position or delivery.
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Effects of Birth Asphyxia
The effects of birth asphyxia depend on how severe it is, how long it lasts, and what kind of pre-existing conditions were present before birth. In mild cases, symptoms may include learning disabilities and behavioral problems such as attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).
In more severe cases, babies may have seizures or require breathing machines after birth if their brains were deprived of oxygen for a long period of time. Severe cases can result in serious brain damage that may cause lifelong problems with motor skills, memory and language.
Why You Need A Birth Asphyxia Lawyer
The main reason why a birth asphyxia attorney is needed is to get the compensation that you deserve. If you have been a victim of negligence during childbirth, you should be compensated for your injuries.
A birth asphyxia attorney can help you file a claim against the hospital or medical providers for malpractice if your child suffered from birth asphyxia. Your Lakewood birth injury attorney can help you determine whether your child suffered from birth asphyxia and what damages may be available to you if your child suffers from birth asphyxia.