Birth asphyxia is a serious medical condition that occurs if your child does not get enough oxygen during the birthing process. This condition could have serious repercussions for your child’s health for the rest of their life. For this reason, it’s important to prevent birth asphyxia as much as possible.
How can birth asphyxia be prevented? Preventing birth asphyxia requires a medical professional to notice that your child is at-risk for this condition. If needed, the doctor may increase your oxygen levels or initiate an emergency C-section in order to mitigate this condition. Learn more about strategies to reduce the odds that your child will experience birth asphyxia below.
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Preventing Birth Asphyxia for Your Child
Healthcare professionals have a responsibility to monitor your child’s vital signs both before and during childbirth. If a healthcare professional has concerns regarding the level of oxygen reaching your child prior to delivery, they may want to provide the mother with additional oxygen. This oxygen may reach the child through the umbilical cord, which could prevent birth asphyxia.
During childbirth, doctors must pay special attention to the well-being of your child. If the child’s vital signs begin to waver, a medical professional may need to order an emergency C-section. Performing a C-section quickly may prevent birth asphyxia by allowing your child to receive fast medical care.
However, C-sections may carry some additional risks for the health of mother and child, so medical professionals must carefully consider these procedures before carrying them out.
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Warning Signs for Birth Asphyxia
Birth asphyxia occurs when your child does not get enough oxygen. Even a few moments without sufficient oxygen may lead to brain damage and other serious health effects. This means it is very important for doctors to recognize signs of distress in your infant. Before birth, doctors will monitor your child’s heart rate to ensure it remains in a normal, safe range.
Sometimes, doctors do not realize that birth asphyxia has occurred until after a child is born. At this point, it may be too late to prevent the condition. However, treatment options are available for children who experienced birth asphyxia. Your child may need immediate treatment if:
- Their skin is pale or bluish.
- They have a very low heart rate.
- They are breathing weakly or have a weak cry.
- Their muscles and reflexes are not responding properly.
Medical professionals in the delivery room must be aware of these warning signs for birth asphyxia, so they can be ready to provide immediate care to your child.
Treatments for Birth Asphyxia
Birth asphyxia is not always prevented. Fortunately, there are treatment options available if your child did not get enough oxygen during childbirth. Depending upon the diagnosis of your child, they may receive treatment using:
- High-frequency ventilation, which is a special kind of breathing support designed for newborns
- Hypothermic treatment to keep a baby’s body temperature very low
- Extracorporeal life support (ECLS) to oxygenate a child’s blood
Your child could also receive medication to help with their blood pressure and to prevent seizures, which are sometimes a side-effect of birth asphyxia. Note that these are only examples of the treatments used for birth asphyxia.
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Possible Repercussions of Birth Asphyxia
Children who experience birth asphyxia may end up facing serious medical complications throughout their lives. Providing fast treatment – or preventing birth asphyxia altogether – may help your child avoid these side-effects. Children with birth asphyxia may go on to face:
- Problems with their hearing or vision.
- Developmental delays.
- The onset of cerebral palsy (CP).
There are also indications that perinatal asphyxia may increase the odds of a child developing autism, schizophrenia, or ADHD.
Get Help if Your Child Experienced Birth Asphyxia
Birth asphyxia may be prevented or treated in some cases. However, in some situations, medical professionals do not take the steps necessary to protect your child’s health. Doctors may not monitor your child’s vital signs properly or they may fail to order a suggested medical procedure.
In this situation, your family could be eligible to receive compensation for your medical expenses and other losses. You may work with a lawyer you if suspect that a doctor’s wrongful actions led your child to experience birth asphyxia.
A lawyer could be able to help you file a medical malpractice claim in this situation. You may start reviewing your options to build a claim right now by contacting a birth injury lawyer in your area.
Speak to a Lawyer About Preventable Birth Asphyxia
How can birth asphyxia be prevented? Doctors may put a mother in labor on oxygen or order an emergency C-section. Doctors who do not take the proper steps to handle birth asphyxia could be held responsible for their actions. Find out how by contacting the Birth Injury Lawyers Group. Call us at (800) 222-9529 or complete our online contact form. We can offer you a free consultation.