There are treatment options available for fetal hypoxia, dependent on the depth and severity of your infant’s symptoms. One such treatment option for fetal hypoxia is a specialized cooling method called neonatal therapeutic hypothermia, according to a study published in Current Treatment Options in Neurology. This medical procedure lowers your infant’s temperature, then slowly raises it to a normal 98.5 degrees.
Neonatal Therapeutic Hypothermia
When your child suffers fetal hypoxia, an injury during their birth that leaves them with mild, moderate, or severe dysfunctions due to oxygen deprivation, the treatment options available are sure to be utmost on your mind as you prepare for your child’s future.
To treat fetal hypoxia, his medical team might suggest neonatal therapeutic hypothermia, a procedure used to treat oxygen deficiency suffered at birth. Your newborn’s body temperature is purposefully reduced soon after their birth to as low as 91.4 degrees using one of two cooling methods—surface cooling using cooling blankets, or endovascular cooling that uses catheters.
In neonatal therapeutic hypothermia, your son or daughter will be kept at the cooler temperature for as many as three days. At the end of the prescribed treatment timeline, your child’s temperature will slowly and carefully be raised until it once again reaches the accepted norm of 98.5 degrees.
The Symptoms of Fetal Hypoxia
Some of the symptoms of fetal hypoxia might be noticed prior to the onset of labor and delivery. A member of your health care team might notice certain tell-tale signs and symptoms of fetal hypoxia. Other symptoms that point to fetal hypoxia might not be evident or observed until the process of labor and delivery begins. The symptoms you or your doctor might notice include:
- Heart disease
- Maternal diabetes
- High blood pressure
- Low levels of amniotic fluid
- Diminishing fetal movement
- A pregnancy that exceeds your due date
- A prolapsed or compressed umbilical cord
Your physician should treat any of these symptoms very seriously throughout your pregnancy, labor, and delivery. He might also conduct tests and exams to ensure a safe and healthy delivery for you and your unborn child.
Fetal Hypoxia and Its Causes
Fetal hypoxia is a lack of oxygen to cells, typically from blood flow problems, that occur immediately before, during, or after the birth of your child. Fetal hypoxia can have more than one underlying cause. The most common causes of fetal hypoxia include:
- Amniotic fluid embolism: a condition that occurs when the amniotic fluid surrounding your unborn child crosses into your bloodstream and causes a severe reaction, leading to lung damage and causing excessive bleeding.
- Uterine rupture: this occurs when there has been a sudden and spontaneous tearing of your uterus, causing your unborn baby to float freely inside your abdomen.
- Placental abruption: when your placenta prematurely detaches from your uterine wall, this can cause your uterus to bleed and reduce your unborn child’s necessary supply of oxygen and nutrients.
- Umbilical cord prolapse: this condition occurs when the umbilical cord enters your birth canal and vagina before your unborn baby does.
An OBGYN or another medical specialist will be able to help you determine the exact cause of your child’s fetal hypoxia.
The Effects of Fetal Hypoxia on a Newborn
Fetal hypoxia is a serious birth injury that can cause mild to severe brain damage in your child. Infants who suffer from fetal hypoxia might have a lower than usual birth weight or experience mild to severe cognitive dysfunction. Your new baby might also suffer from a decline in cardiac function or cerebral palsy.
The Effects of Cerebral Palsy on a Newborn
Cerebral palsy is a physical and cognitive disorder caused by a birth injury that results in brain damage. Infants with cerebral palsy will lack the ability to control their muscles, movements, and posture. Your child might display spasms, an unsteady gait, visual impairment, hearing impairment, and seizure disorders. Children who suffer from cerebral palsy might also struggle with social relationships, learning disabilities, and significant developmental delays.
Schedule a Risk-Free Consultation With An Attorney Near You
When your child is the victim of fetal hypoxia, you can be caught completely off guard and struggle to understand the best ways to help your new baby thrive. The first thing you should do is speak to a physician or medical specialist who can help you understand the treatment options available for fetal hypoxia.
Your next step should be to consult with a birth injury lawyer who can help you understand the legal and financial recovery options you and your infant might be entitled to receive. Your attorney can also help you assign liability that holds the right person responsible for your child’s current condition. Contact the Birth Injury Lawyers Group at (800) 222-9529 to speak to a lawyer in your area today.