It is difficult to determine how common birth asphyxia is because many cases go undiagnosed. However, it probably occurs more often than you may realize. In some cases, the child’s umbilical cord, blood flow, and oxygen levels may become only mildly compromised for a short time and then return to normal before delivery. When this occurs, parents and doctors may never realize it happened in the absence of close monitoring.
In more serious cases, when the child’s oxygen levels become severely compromised for a longer period or they require resuscitation following delivery, it is more apparent that complications occurred. In such cases, it may be easier to understand what happened and the severity of the asphyxia.
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Birth Asphyxia Is a Common Contributor to Neonatal Deaths
Birth asphyxia and its related injuries are relatively common in babies born full-term. Children born prematurely and those who have other risk factors for a difficult birth may be at an increased risk of oxygen deprivation before, during, or after birth. This could mean related birth injury and disability numbers are even higher among this population.
According to statistics from StatPearls made available from the National Library of Medicine (NLM), perinatal asphyxia occurs at a rate of about two per 1,000 births in developed countries. In regions of the world where medical care for mothers and newborns is more limited, the rate of birth asphyxia cases can be up to ten times higher. As this study also points out, however, birth asphyxia and its related complications are present in every country and all economic levels of society.
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Birth Asphyxia Can Cause Permanent Injuries to Infants
Another important question to consider when evaluating your child’s injuries is how commonly birth asphyxia contributes to serious birth injuries and permanent disabilities. Birth asphyxia, oxygen deprivation, and related concerns can cause a number of injuries to a baby, including organ damage, organ failure, brain damage, developmental delays, and more.
If you believe your child experienced birth asphyxia during delivery and they have a diagnosed injury or disability, you may want to have a medical malpractice law firm review your case to determine if medical negligence occurred.
Some permanent injuries that occur as a result of birth asphyxia include:
- Cognitive and intellectual disabilities
- Neurologic delays
- Motor-related impairments such as cerebral palsy
- Lung and pulmonary concerns
- Liver injuries
- Renal dysfunction
- Heart and circulatory concerns
- Behavioral and developmental delays
Brain damage is one of the most common and most concerning injuries related to birth asphyxia. In a study available from the American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology (AJOG), researchers analyzed the link between neonatal oxygen deprivation and brain damage. Among babies who suffered birth asphyxia, they found that:
- 17.2% suffered neurological deficits
- 16.3% experienced seizures
- 14.5% received a cerebral palsy diagnosis
- 5.9% passed away from related injuries
You May Have a Birth Injury Case Based on Your Child’s Delivery and Asphyxia
If your child has a delay, disability, or injury after experiencing asphyxia during delivery, we recommend speaking with someone who can evaluate the specific details of your case and determine if medical malpractice likely occurred. Your child’s injuries may have been preventable. Working with a lawyer who understands how the medical malpractice laws work in your state can help ensure you take the right steps to pursue your case and meet all applicable deadlines.
Not only will your lawyer help you build your case, but they will likely do so at no upfront cost to your family. Most law firms represent medical malpractice birth injury victims based on contingency fees. In this case, they will only be paid if they settle your claim.
If a lawyer believes you have a case, they will obtain and review your child’s medical records and supporting documents. This will help them assign liability and determine exactly what led to the birth asphyxia and injuries. They will also work closely with experts who will verify your case and help you document your current and future losses. Forms of losses could include:
- Current medical bills related to diagnosis and treatment
- Your child’s future medical care costs
- Ongoing care and support
- Time away from work caring for your child
- Additional expenses related to your child’s therapy and necessary devices
- Out-of-pocket expenses
- Pain and suffering damages
- Additional intangible damages
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Speak to a Team Member from the Birth Injury Lawyers Group
If you have questions about your child’s birth injury and diagnosis, we encourage you to reach out to the Birth Injury Lawyers Group to get help today. We offer free consultations for families whose child suffered a birth injury. We will review your case for free, answer your questions, and explain the strength of your case.
You can reach a member of our team today by dialing (800) 222-9529. Call us now to learn more about your case right away.