Birth asphyxia can cause lifelong injuries in several ways. Oxygen deprivation can affect almost any organ or body system, causing permanent injuries and disabilities. A study published by Frontiers in Cellular Neuroscience claims that insufficient blood flow and blood with a low oxygen concentration, a condition known as hypoxia-ischemia, is the leading cause of death and disability in babies. Hypoxia-ischemia is the result of birth asphyxia.
Often, the lifelong injuries babies experience following birth asphyxia are caused by brain damage. The brain requires a steady supply of fully oxygenated blood to function. When the brain does not receive fully oxygenated blood, cells die, which causes permanent injuries in the affected areas of the brain.
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Birth Asphyxia Complications Lead to Lifelong Challenges
Birth asphyxia and the injuries that children experience as a result can cause a wide range of complications and lifelong disabilities. Birth asphyxia consequences could include organ damage, intellectual delays, and physical limitations. In some cases, if the baby is not resuscitated as quickly as possible, death may occur.
According to a systematic review by the American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology, neurological effects are common following birth asphyxia. Of 400 children studied, more than 16 percent experienced epilepsy, while 14 percent have a cerebral palsy diagnosis.
Some lifelong injuries that may occur as a result of birth asphyxia include:
- Autism spectrum disorders
- Behavioral disorders including attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)
- Cerebral palsy and other motor-function disorders
- Hearing loss requiring hearing aids, implants, speech therapy, and other treatments
- Intellectual disabilities that include mild to severe delays and impairments
- Vision problems that may be treated with glasses, surgery, therapy, or other efforts
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Vital Organs Often Suffer Lasting Damage
Birth asphyxia can cause lifelong injuries to other vital organs in addition to the brain. In the same way that a reduction in oxygenated blood reaching the brain can cause brain injuries, it also affects other organs throughout the body. Lasting damage and lifelong injuries may occur to the heart, lungs, intestines, renal system, liver, and more.
The kidneys are of particular concern. A study from Frontiers in Pediatrics found renal system complications following birth in more than half of all babies who:
- Experienced birth asphyxia during delivery, and
- Have a five-minute Apgar score at or below six
This may include lasting damage, in some cases. Some children also need ongoing treatment and monitoring for injuries to other organs or related complications.
Birth Injury Claims Based on Lifelong Injuries from Birth Asphyxia
Your child’s lifelong challenges could support a medical malpractice birth injury case in civil court. If your child experienced birth asphyxia during labor or delivery, it could be because of medical negligence. When a doctor commits medical malpractice or a medical facility fails to uphold the accepted standards of care, this is medical negligence.
Your child’s lifelong injuries could cost your family hundreds of thousands of dollars over their lifetime. Your losses may include:
- Medical care costs, treatment costs, therapies, and related expenses
- Ongoing care costs
- Medical, mobility, and assistive devices and equipment
- Alterations to your home, such as building ramps
- Time off from work to ensure your child receives care
- Out-of-pocket expenses related to your child’s injuries
In addition, you and your child will experience a number of intangible losses and damages. Intangible losses include pain and suffering damages, mental distress, and more. These expenses and losses are also recoverable damages in a claim or legal case against the doctor or hospital. Your attorney will help you document these losses and put a value on your current and future expenses related to your child’s care.
Your attorney will take steps to prove your case, including working with medical experts to review your child’s medical records. This allows you to:
- Get a better understanding of how their injuries occurred
- Identify who is liable
- Prove medical negligence occurred
- Document your child’s ongoing and future care needs
Most birth injury law firms accept cases based on contingency. Your attorney will not require you to pay anything in advance. Instead, they will receive their fees from the payout they secure for your family.
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Speak with Our Team About Your Child’s Lifelong Injuries
If your child’s birth asphyxia caused lifelong injuries, you might have a case against the doctor, facility, or another party. The Birth Injury Lawyers Group will discuss your case with you at no cost to your family. We can help you determine if you may qualify to take legal action and seek compensation while holding the negligent doctor or hospital accountable.
A careless or reckless medical care provider should not be able to cause your child lifelong harm and avoid responsibility for their actions. Get help today from our team. Call (800) 222-9529 to speak with us about your options.