Hypoxia occurs when a person’s body doesn’t receive enough oxygen at the tissue level, and there are many potential causes. But when a newborn baby’s brain goes without oxygen, the results can be catastrophic.
Many of these cases are preventable and occur because a doctor or other medical care provider failed to uphold their duty to provide an acceptable standard of care to the mother and baby. With a hypoxia lawyer’s help, you get justice and compensation for their medical negligence.
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What Is Hypoxia?
Hypoxia is a condition where there is not enough oxygen getting to someone’s body at the tissue level. It can be generalized, localized, or affect the entire body. In hypoxia, blood continues to flow and deliver oxygen, but it is an inadequate amount to sustain the affected area of the brain.
Similarly, anoxia is a condition where the area of the brain receives no oxygen. Hypoxemia, which is low oxygen levels in the blood, can lead to hypoxia.
Infant hypoxia can occur just before birth, during delivery, or immediately following birth. Hypoxia, especially, is a common type of birth injury and often leads to lifelong disabilities in affected children. Disabilities include:
- Cerebral palsy
- Cognitive delays
- Learning disabilities
- Seizure disorders
- Behavioral concerns
There are many causes of hypoxia. Hypoxia can occur because of:
- Long, difficult labor
- Decreased heart rate
- Congenital heart or pulmonary defects
- Pulmonary hypertension
- Neonatal stroke
- Airway obstruction
- Nuchal cord
- Other issues relating to the umbilical cord or placenta
Hypoxia 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) or hypoxia (partial 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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Diagnosing and Treating Hypoxia
Any type of fetal hypoxia can lead to brain damage known as hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy. When hypoxia occurs just before, during, or immediately after delivery, symptoms after birth may lead to a diagnosis. Seizures are a common early sign of hypoxic brain injury.
Initial treatment may include medications to stop seizures and support breathing and other body processes. In some cases, lowering the baby’s body temperature and inducing hypothermia can help reduce the implications of fetal hypoxia.
Many children who suffer from hypoxia will require lifelong monitoring, in addition to medication and therapy for related medical conditions.
Medical Malpractice and Brain Hypoxia
Physicians should be able to foresee hypoxia in many situations and take steps to prevent the problem. Red flags such as fetal distress can point to hypoxia, at which point the doctor must take swift emergency action to prevent damage to the infant’s brain.
While physicians can’t always prevent brain hypoxia, there are procedures they can perform to quickly resolve the issue and minimize damage to the brain. Failure to do so, resulting in injuries or death, may mean medical malpractice.
Oxygen deprivation in the brain can result from:
- Hypotension (very low blood pressure)
- Carbon monoxide poisoning
- An irregular heartbeat
- Cardiac arrest
Brain hypoxia related to medical malpractice may take the form of anesthesia errors, birth injuries, or brain injuries. If negligence contributed in any way to these injuries, it may be possible to sue the hospital and/or doctor responsible with a medical malpractice claim. A hypoxia lawyer can help.
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Examples of Medical Malpractice That Can Lead to Hypoxia
There are some cases where hypoxic brain damage can be linked directly to a healthcare professional’s failure to provide proper monitoring and care. The following are examples of acts/failures to act that could cause hypoxia, hypoxemia, or anoxia:
- Delaying a C-section
- Administering too much anesthesia, or improperly intubating the patient
- Failing to perform a C-section in a high-risk pregnancy or birth
- Failing to respond to fetal distress or intolerance
- Failing to diagnose/treat placental abruption, placenta previa or umbilical cord prolapse or impingement
- Failing to diagnose macrosomia or cephalopelvic disproportion
- Failing to diagnose uterine overstimulation
- Mismanaging medications provided to induce or augment labor
If your child experienced anoxia or hypoxia 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. You could get compensation for your family’s medical expenses and other losses.
Hypoxia and Medical Malpractice Documentation
Brain hypoxia can have devastating effects on patients. Many will never fully recover from lack of oxygen to the brain and will suffer from physical or cognitive difficulties throughout their lives. If you or a loved one suffered injuries or wrongful death due to brain hypoxia, you have the right to investigate the cause of the incident. It’s possible that negligence caused your damages.
Your first step is to speak to a hypoxia attorney in your area. It will help your case if you keep documentation of the incident, including:
- Medical bills
- Treatment recommendations
- Medication prescriptions
- Discussions with healthcare professionals
The more information you gather regarding your injuries, the better your attorney can help you. A legal team will analyze your case and tell you if they believe it has merit as a medical malpractice lawsuit.
An Attorney Can Help With Your Anoxic or Hypoxic Brain Injury
It can be difficult to determine whether another person or entity is responsible for an anoxic or hypoxic brain injury. These injuries are not always the obvious result of someone else’s negligent conduct. Also, insurance companies often try to downplay the connection.
An experienced hypoxic brain injury attorney will have the knowledge and resources to thoroughly investigate this type of accident, review medical records, and consult with experts. The attorney will know what it takes to establish the necessary link between the crash and the resulting brain injury.
A birth injury lawyer experienced with anoxia and hypoxia injuries 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
Your Hypoxia Lawyer Can Help You Collect Compensation
If your birth injury lawyer for hypoxia 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 an attorney near you as soon as possible. You do not want time to run out before you take legal action.
Fetal Hypoxia Can Cause Severe Damage
Fetal hypoxia can impact a person’s development, cognitive abilities, and life path. Damage to the brain, heart, lungs, kidneys, and gastrointestinal tract can be permanent and debilitating.
Your right to recover damages will depend on your state’s laws about birth injuries.
Some states have programs with strict rules that govern these situations. These programs often have short deadlines for taking action against the party whose carelessness caused or contributed to the harm your baby suffered. If you miss the deadline or any of the other requirements, you could lose the right to go after money damages.
These cases require sophisticated litigation. You should work with someone who has experience navigating these types of birth injury cases.
Our Hypoxic Attorneys Want to Help You
If you or your loved one suffered anoxic or hypoxic brain injury due to the suspected negligence of another, you need to take immediate steps to protect your legal rights. Contact Birth Injury Lawyers Group to speak with a dedicated hypoxia attorney in your city. Our team will evaluate your case and explain your legal options for free.
We have a long history of success in birth injury cases and understand how brain injuries impact the lives of victims and their family members. We are motivated to pursue the maximum amount for you and help you to move forward with your life.