WHAT IS ANOXIA ?
Anoxia is both conditions where there is not enough oxygen getting to the infant’s brain. In anoxia, the area of the brain receives no oxygen. Anoxia can occur just before birth, during delivery, or immediately following birth. There are many causes of anoxia . Anoxia is more common in sudden, catastrophic events such as placental abruption or traumatic injury.
Anoxia may be the result of medical negligence and may support a birth injury case. Doctors have a responsibility to monitor infants before, during, and after delivery, including ensuring they do not face avoidable risks for this type of injury.
If your newborn has cerebral palsy or another type of brain damage as a result of anoxia (complete deprivation of oxygen), you may be eligible to pursue compensation through a birth injury claim. A birth injury attorney in your state can help you understand your rights and legal options.
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ANOXIA MAY OCCUR BECAUSE OF MEDICAL MALPRACTICE
When an infant’s brain does not get the oxygen it needs before, during, or immediately following birth, damage can occur. This type of brain damage may be grounds for a medical malpractice lawsuit.
Causes of anoxia in newborns may include:
- Problems with the placenta, including placental abruption
- A prolonged delivery
- Umbilical cord issues
- Infection in the mother or baby
- High or low blood pressure in the mother
- Severe anemia in the mother or baby
YOU MAY BE ELIGIBLE TO PURSUE A PAYOUT FOR YOUR CHILD’S CARE
When a baby’s brain goes without oxygen, the results can be catastrophic. Many cases of anoxia is preventable. They occur because a doctor or other medical care provider fails to uphold their duty to provide an acceptable standard of care to the mother and baby.
If your doctor failed to adequately monitor you during pregnancy, labor, and delivery, for example, they may have missed a problem with the placenta that left your child without the oxygen then needed during delivery. This could support a successful birth injury case.
To learn more about your legal options for pursuing compensation, discuss your case with a birth injury lawyer for anoxia familiar with birth injuries who practices law in your state. They will be able to help you:
- Understand your rights
- Determine the strength of your case
- Collect evidence to build a case for compensation
- Enlist the help of medical expert witnesses
- Prove negligence and liability
- File a claim or pursue a birth injury lawsuit
If your birth injury lawyer for anoxia can negotiate a settlement out of court or win a verdict on your family’s behalf, you may be eligible to recover damages that include:
- Medical care costs
- Ongoing and future care costs
- Mobility tools and therapeutic devices
- Out-of-pocket expenses related to your child’s birth injury or treatment
- Pain and suffering damages
- Mental anguish
The deadline for filing this type of lawsuit varies by state, so it is important that you schedule your free case review with a birth injury lawyer for anoxia near you as soon as possible. You do not want time to run out before you take legal action.
What Causes Anoxia?
Anoxia is serious medical conditions that may occur if an infant does not get enough oxygen before, during, or after birth. Preventing these conditions is very important. However, in order to prevent them, it’s important to find out what causes anoxia and hypoxia.
The most common cause of these conditions is an issue with the umbilical cord at childbirth. It may become pinched or prolapsed, affecting the amount of oxygen flowing through the newborn’s body. Other circumstances may cause these conditions even before childbirth begins.
Discover more about the common causes of anoxia and hypoxia in young infants with this article. Find out options to treat anoxia , as well as the long-term effects of untreated oxygen deprivation.
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PRENATAL CAUSES OF ANOXIA
Before discussing the common causes of anoxia, it’s important to develop a quick understanding of these conditions. Anoxia refers to situations in which an infant gets no oxygen at all. These conditions can result in a reduction in blood flow and subsequent brain damage if not treated promptly.
Sometimes infants experience hypoxia even before they are born. Based on a study in the journal Frontiers in Molecular Neuroscience, these conditions can also occur from maternal smoking. In other cases, mothers who experience anemia may be unable to provide sufficiently oxygenated blood to their unborn children.
There may be steps you could take to reduce the odds of prenatal anoxia. For example, a doctor could prescribe iron supplements to a pregnant woman who is dealing with anemia. Doctors may also suggest that women stop smoking during pregnancy.
ANOXIA DURING CHILDBIRTH
In some cases, anoxia occur as a direct result of issues with the child’s umbilical cord during the childbirth process. For example, the umbilical cord could be:
- Pinched closed.
- Prolapsed through the cervix.
Additionally, a placental abruption could cause hypoxia or anoxia in a child. This condition occurs if the placenta does not remain properly attached to the uterus. Any of these issues could result in either anoxia or hypoxia which could, in turn, result in brain damage or even the death of the newborn.
ADDRESSING EARLY WARNINGS SIGNS OF ANOXIA
Anoxia and hypoxia may have serious effects on newborns around the country. For this reason, it’s very important that doctors address these conditions as soon as they become evident. For example, regular wellness checks during pregnancy may detect warning signs that a child is not getting enough oxygen.
Medical professionals should monitor fetal vital signs during childbirth. Any signs of distress should immediately initiate action. In some cases, doctors may need to order an emergency C-section, if they suspect that an infant is no longer getting sufficient oxygen during childbirth.
Performing a C-section could come with health risks of its own. However, this procedure may allow a child to begin receiving much-needed oxygen quickly. This could prevent hypoxia or anoxia from ever developing, helping your child avoid serious medical conditions.
Infant Declining Breathing, Eating, And Digestion Lawyer
A decline in your infant’s breathing, eating, and digestion can be understandably upsetting, especially because your baby cannot communicate to you what they are feeling inside. A decline in these “executive functions” may simply reflect a minor physical ailment, but there are times when it may underscore a more serious problem, like a birth injury. Examples of birth injuries that may lead to these symptoms include:
- Anoxia: An extreme type of hypoxia, this results from the body receiving no oxygen.
- Hypoxia or birth asphyxia: This birth injury occurs when a single part of the body receives only a limited supply of oxygen supply.
- Hypoxic Ischemic Encephalopathy (HIE): This is brain damage from a hypoxic or anoxic episode.
RESPONSIBILITY OF YOUR PHYSICIAN AND MEDICAL TEAM
Sometimes an infant is poorly positioned in the womb or becomes stuck in the birth canal. Other times, labor stops or there’s a problem with the umbilical cord or with the baby’s heartbeat. The number of complications that can accompany pregnancy, labor, or delivery is numerous, and when they occur, decisions about the delivery must happen quickly and must be executed skillfully.
When the delivery doctor or member of the medical team fails on either count, and your baby displays any of the above symptoms—eventually revealing a birth injury has occurred—you have the right to hold the medical professionals liable.
TREATMENT FOR ANOXIA IN NEWBORNS
Children who are born while experiencing oxygen deprivation may require immediate care. If a doctor did not order an emergency C-section, he or she can still take steps to help your child recover from these conditions.
In some cases, doctors may order hypothermic treatment for children who are diagnosed with hypoxia or anoxia upon birth. Hypothermic treatment involves cooling an infant’s body and bringing down their core body temperature. While this may seem counterproductive, results related to this treatment are encouraging. Studies like those performed with the NICHD Neonatal Research Network have shown that this treatment increases the odds of a child surviving. It also reduces the odds of a child developing disabilities after experiencing anoxia or hypoxia.
Additionally, doctors may employ hyperbaric oxygen treatment in some cases involving anoxia and hypoxia. This treatment involves exposing your newborn to an atmosphere that is 100% oxygen. This oversaturation of oxygen may help prevent the damage caused by anoxia or hypoxia.
LONG-TERM RESULTS OF ANOXIA
Anoxia may result in serious brain injuries for children if not treated properly. Some children who experience these conditions may be left paralyzed. There are also a number of serious medical conditions associated with hypoxia and anoxia, including:
- Behavioral disorders.
- Cerebral palsy (CP).
If your child experienced anoxia before or after childbirth, you may be able to build a case against the medical professional who provided your healthcare services. A medical professional could be responsible if they acted in an unreasonable, negligent, or dangerous way. Find out more by contacting a birth injury lawyer for help right now. You could get compensation for your family’s medical expenses and other losses.
What Is the Difference Between Anoxia and Hypoxia?
The brain could sustain serious injuries if it does not receive enough oxygen to function properly during childbirth. You may hear the terms “anoxia” and “hypoxia” used to describe a lack of oxygen to different body system. This may raise the question: what is the difference between anoxia and hypoxia?
Both anoxia and hypoxia deal with a lack of oxygen flow to various body systems. Individuals with hypoxia still receive a small amount of oxygen. If left untreated, hypoxia can lead in anoxia, restricting oxygen flow completely.
Use this article to learn more about the differences between anoxia and hypoxia, as well as causes, symptoms, and treatment options. If your child was diagnosed with either hypoxia or anoxia, find out how to get help below.
COMPARING ANOXIA AND HYPOXIA
Hypoxia occurs when an individual has restricted oxygen flow to the brain. Anoxia is more severe form of hypoxia, as it constitutes a complete lack of oxygen. Both of these conditions could result in brain damage or even death if the lack of oxygen continues for long enough.
The most severe cases of hypoxia in newborns may develop into “neonatal hypoxia-ischaemia (HI)” or even “hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy (HIE).” The former refers to reduced blood flow from lack of oxygen, while the latter refers to brain damage caused by prolonged lack of oxygen and blood flow. These conditions are all very serious and require immediate medical attention.
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CAUSES OF ANOXIA AND HYPOXIA IN CHILDBIRTH
Both anoxia and hypoxia may occur during the childbirth process, leading to brain injuries. Generally, they occur if something disrupts the umbilical blood supply to a child either before or during the birthing process. The disruption of blood flow may occur if the umbilical cord becomes pinched or twisted. It may also occur if the umbilical cord passes through the cervix before the newborn.
In order to prevent an anoxic or hypoxic injury during childbirth, it is very important that medical professionals monitor the vital signs of the child. Any signs of distress require immediate action. A doctor may need to order an emergency C-section, for example, if the infant’s vital signs begin to falter during childbirth.
INDICATIONS OF ANOXIA OR HYPOXIA AFTER BIRTH
Identifying anoxia or hypoxia may only be possible after your child is born. Sometimes, doctors fail to order a necessary C-section, leading to severe cases of anoxia or hypoxia. Your child may not be breathing, requiring CPR or intubation upon being born. According to a study published in the journal Frontiers in Cellular Neuroscience, other signs that a newborn could be experiencing anoxia or hypoxia include if they:
- Score under 5 on their 5-minute Apgar test.
- Have a pH of under 7 on their umbilical cord arterial blood test.
- Have no sucking reflex or they have hypotonic muscles.
A medical professional should assess your child for these signs after childbirth. Immediate care may be required if your child shows any indications that they are dealing with an anoxic or hypoxic injury. Note that doctors may, in some situations, use EEGs or MRIs in order to diagnose this kind of injury.
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TREATMENT FOR ANOXIA AND HYPOXIA IN NEWBORNS
It’s important that you understand that you are not alone if your child experienced an anoxic or hypoxic injury during childbirth. These are some of the most common injuries that cause disability or death in children. In fact, around one million infants suffer from hypoxic or anoxic injuries every year.
The prevalence of these injuries does not diminish their severity. Children who experience hypoxia or anoxia may experience brain damage. Additionally, many children do not survive these injuries.
Fortunately, there are treatments available for anoxia and hypoxia. Your child may require assisted respiratory care after birth. In some situations, your child may even require a hyperbaric oxygen chamber, to quickly flood their blood with necessary oxygen. It is important that a doctor administer these treatments as quickly as possible.
GET HELP IF YOUR CHILD EXPERIENCED ANOXIA OR HYPOXIA
Aside from “What is the difference between anoxia and hypoxia?” you may also wonder who is at fault when such conditions occur. If your child’s condition was caused by an error or mistake on the part of a medical doctor, your family could be eligible to get compensation for medical expenses and other losses.
The treatments for anoxia and hypoxia could be incredibly extensive. Even with immediate treatment, your child could suffer lifelong disabilities.
A lawyer may be able to review your case if your child was diagnosed with hypoxia or anoxia. Get legal help on your side now, so you may focus on taking care of your child.
You may find out more about these conditions with the team at the Birth Injury Lawyers Group. Start working with us today and get a free consultation. We can get started as soon as you call (800) 263-6622 or complete our online contact form.
What Are the Symptoms of Anoxia?
Anoxia is a more extreme version of hypoxia that results in a complete absence of oxygen flow to a part of the body. If this lack of oxygen flow occurs in the brain, it could have very deadly effects including seizures and loss of consciousness as well as long-term consequences, so it is important to identify this condition quickly.
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CONSIDER THE SYMPTOMS OF ANOXIA
Anoxia may have many symptoms. In an adult, anoxic brain injuries could lead to:
- Headaches and problems with balance
- Blurred vision
- Dizziness and disorientation
- Seizures and motor impairment
- Difficulties speaking, communicating, or forming sentences
- Loss of consciousness and collapse
Very young children can also experience an anoxic brain injury. However, it may be much more difficult to diagnose this condition in a child, particularly for newborns. Young children may not be able to express the way they feel, or describe the symptoms they are dealing with. Some symptoms, such as seizures or loss of consciousness, may be obvious even in a newborn, and concerned parents should keep an eye out for weakened limbs or jerky motions.
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DEFINITION OF ANOXIC BRAIN INJURIES
Not all brain injuries are considered anoxic brain injuries. Your child may only be diagnosed with an anoxic brain injury if the oxygen supply to their brain is completely cut off, with partial oxygen deprivation called hypoxia. The cells of the brain may die if they go without oxygen for an extended period of time. There are several different kinds of anoxic brain injuries, including:
Some individuals do not get enough oxygen because their blood cannot carry it properly. This form of anoxia may occur if an individual has lost a lot of blood due to another injury, and can therefore not transmit oxygen to various organs properly.
This form of anoxia occurs if there is insufficient oxygen available for an individual to breathe, which may be a concern during childbirth. A newborn may be unable to get sufficient oxygen if the umbilical cord becomes twisted or bent during delivery, for example.
Some chemicals prevent the circulatory system from properly distributing oxygen to the brain and other major body systems.
ANOXIA AS A BIRTH INJURY
Sometimes children suffer from anoxia during childbirth. This may occur as a result of issues with the umbilical cord becoming twisted or pinched, preventing the mother’s oxygenated blood from reaching the child. Some children develop anoxia if the umbilical cord passes through the cervix during delivery.
Doctors may be able to lower the odds that a child would experience anoxia by monitoring their vital signs throughout the delivery process. If your child begins to show distress, a doctor may need to order an emergency C-section to ensure that your child regains proper oxygen flow. Over 1.2 million children in the U.S. were born via Cesarean deliveries in 2018 according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
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TREATMENT FOR ANOXIA AS A BIRTH INJURY
Newborns with anoxia can receive medical care in some circumstances. A doctor may order your child to be placed in a hyperbaric oxygen chamber immediately after birth, which exposes them to 100 percent oxygen.
Exposure to high amounts of oxygen may limit or even prevent some brain injuries associated with anoxia. High concentrations of oxygen may bring the body’s oxygen levels up to a safe place, preventing the brain from experiencing serious damage.
Note that doctors may wish to perform tests to determine whether or not your child has anoxia, such as ordering an MRI, EEG, or CT scan. One study published in the journal Missouri Medicine in 2015, cataloged by the U.S. National Library of Medicine (NLM), also suggests that therapeutic hypothermia has proven beneficial in patients with anoxic brain injuries due to cardiac arrest.
If your child was denied oxygen during the birth process, they may deal with brain damage and other long-term issues. If the damage was caused by the wrongful actions of a medical professional, you may be entitled to compensation for your child’s medical treatment. A lawyer can investigate your case to determine if an act of medical malpractice led to your child’s injuries.