What Is Birth Asphyxia?
Birth asphyxia is the medical diagnosis when a neonate suffers from oxygen deprivation long enough to sustain injuries because of it. These are often brain injuries and may include cerebral palsy, epilepsy, cognitive deficits, and more. Birth asphyxia may occur as a result of a lack of oxygen that is either hypoxic (partial) or anoxic (compete).
Birth asphyxia is sometimes also called perinatal asphyxia or neonatal asphyxia. It most commonly occurs just before or during birth but can occur immediately following delivery as well. A wide range of health concerns related to either the mother or baby can cause hypoxia or anoxia and birth asphyxia. These include:
- Maternal hemorrhage
- Amniotic fluid embolism
- Hemodynamic collapse
- Placental abruption
- Uterine rupture
- Nuchal cord,
- Umbilical cord prolapse or avulsion
- Intrapartum infection
- Neonatal stroke
Infants who only had a short period of oxygen deprivation may recover fully. In general, the severity of the injury depends on several factors:
- How long the infant had low levels of oxygen or did not receive oxygen
- How low the level of oxygen was in their brain and vital organs
- How quickly they received treatment to restore breathing and limit damage
While treatments have improved, permanent injuries are still common in serious cases. In addition to neurologic and cognitive concerns, effects on other organs are possible. This includes respiratory distress, pulmonary hypertension, liver concerns, myocardial issues, and renal dysfunction.
Oxygen is the crucial element that must be able to nourish a child’s organs and cells in order to sustain life. If a doctor or nurse makes a mistake during labor and delivery that compromises oxygen delivery to the baby, life-threatening birth injuries can result.
If you believe your child’s brain damage or other birth injuries were caused by preventable asphyxia, you should talk to an experienced birth injury lawyer.
Birth Injury Lawyer Near Me 1-800-222-9529
Facts About Asphyxia
Asphyxia is a complication during labor and delivery where the baby is deprived of necessary oxygen, causing dysfunction in the major organs of the body. This oxygen deprivation may occur anywhere along the labor and delivery process, and can result from health problems in the mother or physical trauma to the child during birth. Failure to restore proper oxygen flow can have catastrophic consequences, including neurological problems.
In many asphyxia birth injury cases, medical staff members fail to recognize or respond to signs a child may be suffering from asphyxia, such as:
- Heart rate abnormalities
- Breathing irregularities
- Halted breathing
- Lack of movement
- Low blood pressure in the mother
- Umbilical cord problems
- Placenta problems
- Pale or bluish skin
Filing a Claim for Asphyxia-related Injuries
If your family is struggling because of a birth injury and you suspect it may have been preventable, you’re going to need a strong legal team.