The day your child is born is a joyous occasion. You waited patiently for nine long months, and the moment you’ve been longing for has finally arrived. The thought of holding your new precious son or daughter offers hope for a fulfilling future with the ones you love the most.
Until the heartwarming childbirth experience you hoped for is tainted by fear, anger, and desperation. Now you wonder how to care for your child after they’ve been affected by birth asphyxia. Can babies recover from birth asphyxia? If the birth asphyxia they have experienced was mild to moderate, yes — However, some babies cannot recover from severe birth asphyxia.
If your child experienced birth asphyxia due to a doctor’s negligence, it is time to speak to a birth injury lawyer from the Birth Injury Lawyers Group. We can help you hold careless medical professionals responsible for harm to your newborn baby. Our top-rated lawyers are ready to take on even the most challenging birth injury or medical malpractice claim.
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What Is Birth Asphyxia?
Birth asphyxia, or Hypoxic Ischemic Encephalopathy, refers to the lack of oxygen to a baby’s brain and other vital organs before, during, or shortly after birth. According to the overview of birth asphyxia by the World Health Organization (WHO), birth asphyxia causes approximately 900,000 deaths annually and is one of the leading factors for neonatal mortality in the United States.
Birth asphyxia is the cause of over 73% of neonatal deaths from one to seven days after a live birth. Babies born with birth asphyxia may suffer permanent damage or even death. Complications during labor and childbirth can increase the risk of birth asphyxia.
The harm to a baby caused by birth asphyxia depends on how long the baby is without oxygen, how low the baby’s oxygen levels are, and how quickly doctors respond with proper treatment. Doctors and other hospital staff may be liable for damages if corrective actions are not taken after it is determined that the baby is in distress.
Birth Asphyxia & Recovery
Depending on the severity of birth asphyxia, babies can make a full recovery. The longer a baby goes without oxygen, the less likely they are to survive. Babies with mild birth asphyxia are more likely to recover, whereas babies deprived of oxygen longer may survive but suffer long-term effects like brain damage.
Therapeutic hypothermia, or body cooling, can help improve the chances of survival for babies born at full term. Babies born more than five weeks early will not be able to undergo this treatment option and are at a higher risk for organ failure or death.
What Are the Stages of Birth Asphyxia?
Birth asphyxia can happen in one or two stages during or after birth. The first stage of birth asphyxia occurs when blood flow slows and cells do not get enough oxygen to support the baby. The first stage of birth asphyxia can happen within minutes.
The second stage of birth asphyxia is referred to as “reperfusion injury.” This stage can last weeks and typically happens after the baby gets normal oxygen again. This stage of birth asphyxia is caused by the toxins that start to release from damaged cells.
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How Is Birth Asphyxia Caused?
Birth asphyxia is one of the top birth injuries in America. Many factors, including doctor’s negligence, can lead to birth asphyxia during or after childbirth. Birth injury lawyers can help determine how birth asphyxia occurred and who is responsible for damages.
The following complications during labor and delivery can increase the chances of birth asphyxia.
- Long or difficult births
- Umbilical cord injuries
- Fetal distress
- Delayed birth
- The baby’s size or position
- Complications due to the uterus, placenta, or meconium
- Elevated fetal heart rate between each contraction
- Improper use of delivery tools
- Undiagnosed conditions of the mother
- Trauma or hemorrhages in the baby’s brain
- If the mother has high or low blood pressure during birth
- The baby’s airway is not properly or fully formed
- The baby’s airway is blocked or obstructed
- The mother does not have enough oxygen in her blood
Birth injury lawyers could help you if your child was injured during or after birth. We represent many different types of birth injury claims, including and not limited to the types listed above. If you’re looking for a lawyer after a traumatic childbirth experience, it is time to talk to a birth asphyxia lawyer from Birth Injury Lawyers Group.
How Is Birth Asphyxia Treated?
Treatment for birth asphyxia depends on how long your baby went without oxygen and the current levels of oxygen in their blood. Doctors will monitor symptoms and watch for signs of distress like abnormal breathing, poor circulation, and low blood pressure. A low APGAR score from 0 to 3 that exceeds five minutes can also indicate your child has suffered birth asphyxia.
For mild or moderate birth asphyxia, doctors will provide treatment until babies can resume breathing on their own. Treatment may include stimulating the baby to breathe or supplying artificial breathing support, like oxygen tubes, if the baby does not respond independently.
In more severe cases, babies suffering from birth asphyxia may require a heart-lung pump and breathing support. Other treatment methods may include dialysis for kidney support, blood pressure medicine, body cooling, and Intravenous nutrition (IV).
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Hire a Birth Injury Lawyer
The moment your child is born should be filled with love and excitement, not fear or anxiety. However, when birth injuries happen, your child’s birth could be forever remembered as a day of stress, panic, and devastating loss. If this has happened to you, you’re not alone.
Birth injury lawyers from Birth Injury Lawyers Group are here to get justice for families of newborns suffering from birth asphyxia. We wish to make this challenging time easier for you so you can focus on caring for your child while we fight for your right to fair compensation.
Don’t wait to get help after a tragic birth injury. Protect your legal rights and contact us to set up an appointment for a free legal consultation with a birth injury lawyer.