Low oxygen can cause mental illness by damaging areas of the brain that control emotions, behaviors, and more. According to the medical journal Interdisciplinary Toxicology, oxygen deprivation in newborns causes “functional alterations of the brain structures and functions,” increasing their risk for mental health concerns.
Children who experience oxygen deprivation and suffer brain injuries often have increased mental health needs related to anxiety and fear. In addition, other developmental disabilities, learning delays, and cognitive concerns may play a role in how the child adapts to the world around them.
To address these children’s mental health needs, their care team must monitor their condition, including their mental, cognitive, social, and physical impacts. Many of the mental health concerns common in children who suffered this type of birth injury can be addressed through mental health support and therapy, teaching coping mechanisms, and, in some cases, medication.
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Oxygen Deprivation Can Lead to Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder
Children who experienced brain injuries due to oxygen deprivation have an increased risk of being diagnosed with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), a common behavioral concern among young children. According to the study published in Interdisciplinary Toxicology, ADHD is the most common psychiatric disorder in children, with around four percent of all children receiving this diagnosis.
In many cases, children learn to cope with ADHD or seem to grow out of it as they become teenagers and adults. In other cases, though, they continue to deal with the chronic condition well into adulthood as between 30 and 50 percent of those diagnosed as children continue to have symptoms and struggle to manage their ADHD as adults.
Treatment often centers on therapy, time management techniques, and medication to improve focus and attention span.
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The Risk of Autism May Be Increased by a Deprivation of Oxygen at Birth
Low oxygen can cause mental illness, behavioral concerns, and developmental disorders. While the exact cause of autism spectrum disorders is unknown, there is a link between children who experienced oxygen deprivation and those at an increased risk of developing autism. This is especially true of children with cerebral palsy, who have a significantly higher likelihood of autism than children without the disorder.
Autism spectrum disorders are a true spectrum and can affect children and adults living with them significantly. A child’s symptoms because of autism may impact their everyday life in relatively minor, moderate, or severe ways. While there is no cure for the developmental condition, treatments to help these children include:
- Early intervention
- Speech and communication therapy
- Occupational therapy
- An individualized education plan, or IEP
Many children with autism are very intelligent and may thrive in school and continue onto college. They can have successful careers, live independently, and have families of their own. However, some children, especially those with serious, co-occurring conditions, cannot. Some children with an autism diagnosis will require ongoing care and support for the rest of their lives.
They may benefit from special education, therapy, and treatment of any co-occurring conditions, when possible. However, they will likely require close observation and may live at home, in a group home, or another similar setting as adults.
You Could Pursue Compensation if Your Baby Was Injured Due to Low Oxygen
If your baby experienced oxygen deprivation and now has a mental health disorder or a psychological concern, your family may have the right to hold the doctor, hospital, or another liable party accountable for their role in your child’s birth injuries. It would help if you contacted a medical malpractice law firm in your state who understands oxygen deprivation injuries. If they believe you are eligible for compensation, they will represent you based on contingency, meaning you will not need to pay upfront fees.
Your lawyer will work with you to understand your case, assign liability, meet all applicable state rules and guidelines, and gather evidence to prove medical negligence. These cases generally require assistance from a medical expert who will testify that the medical practitioners failed to provide your child with an acceptable standard of care, causing or failing to prevent their injuries.
A strong case will allow your attorney to negotiate a settlement or present your case to the judge and jury in court. If they are successful in your case, the damages your family could recover include:
- Past, current, and future medical treatment costs related to your child’s injuries
- Ongoing care needs and related expenses
- Out-of-pocket expenses your family spent.
- Pain and suffering your child endured.
- Other intangible losses
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The Birth Injury Lawyers Group can help you learn more about your eligibility to pursue a medical malpractice case today. Call (800) 222-9529 to get started with a complimentary review with a member of our team.