The causes of oxygen deprivation can vary. There are many causes of hypoxia (low levels of oxygen available) or anoxia (no oxygen or nutrients available) that may occur during pregnancy, labor, or delivery. In many cases, they may be predictable and preventable. This is one reason why proper monitoring of a pregnancy and monitoring both the mother and the baby during labor and delivery are so important.
Oxygen deprivation can cause damage to almost any vital organ, including the brain. This can lead to lifelong complications and challenges for your child.
Some causes of oxygen deprivation and lasting injuries include:
- Low levels of oxygen in the mother’s blood
- Some maternal infections
- Long and difficult deliveries
- Umbilical cord problems including compression, prolapse, or nuchal cord
- Placental abruption
- Too high or low maternal blood pressure
- A blocked airway that is not cleared immediately following delivery
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Medical Negligence Often Plays a Role in Oxygen Deprivation Cases
When oxygen deprivation occurs, it is sometimes preventable. For example, if the doctor was properly monitoring the mother’s blood pressure, a dramatic change should have signaled a problem and promoted quick action. In other cases, the doctor should have diagnosed the issue immediately and delivered the baby as soon as possible to limit the injuries the baby suffered.
If the doctor or another medical care provider could have taken steps to prevent your child’s deprivation of oxygen or related complications but did not, this may be medical negligence. Medical negligence in a birth asphyxia case may occur when:
- The doctor and care team do not adequately monitor the mother and baby during pregnancy, labor, and delivery.
- The doctor fails to recognize and act to prevent a likely birth complication.
- The doctor does not diagnose a condition that leads to oxygen deprivation.
- The doctor and care team fails to react to signs of oxygen deprivation after delivery.
- The team fails to provide an acceptable standard of care to the baby.
If your child experienced oxygen deprivation and now has a diagnosed medical condition or complication, a medical malpractice attorney can help you understand your legal options. You may be eligible to hold the doctor or hospital liable and recover compensation. If your child suffered injuries because of a care provider’s negligence, your family deserves compensation to help you cover the cost of their care.
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Some Children Suffer Lifelong Complications Related to a Deprivation of Oxygen
No matter what the causes of their oxygen deprivation are, babies can suffer lasting injuries, leading to complications, delays, and disabilities. Almost any organ can suffer damage, with kidney, liver, heart, and lung damage common. Some of the most severe effects of oxygen deprivation occur as a brain injury. When brain cells do not get the oxygen and nutrients they need, damage occurs quickly.
The damage that occurs to a baby’s brain during this process and the reperfusion process is often diagnosed as hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy (HIE). This is the diagnosis for a brain injury caused by a lack of oxygenated blood. According to the medical journal Newborn and Infant Nursing Reviews, between 1.5 and 2.5 babies out of every 1,000 live births receive this type of diagnosis in developed countries.
While HIE is a diagnosis itself, the damage that occurs can also lead to other medical conditions. Cerebral palsy, epilepsy, intellectual disabilities, developmental delays, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, autism spectrum disorders, vision or hearing loss, and other lifelong, serious complications are possible.
Many children who sustain a HIE because of oxygen deprivation require ongoing treatment, therapy, support, and care. This can cost parents thousands of dollars a year to ensure their child receives the proper treatment and help.
Recovering Damages Based on Your Child’s Birth Injury and Diagnosis
If your child suffered oxygen deprivation and related injuries because of medical negligence, a medical malpractice law firm in your area would likely represent your family based on a contingent fee. You will not need to pay any fees in advance for their services. They can help you:
- Understand the strength of your case
- Assign liability
- Compile the necessary evidence, including medical records
- Identifying and working with a medical expert witness
- Following all applicable rules in your state
With evidentiary support from a medical expert, your birth injury attorney will navigate the legal system for your family and attempt to negotiate a settlement or recover a court award. The recoverable damages could include:
- Your child’s current and future related medical care
- Ongoing care expenses
- Time you missed away from work
- Out-of-pocket expenses
- Pain and suffering damages
- Intangible losses
- Other types of damages
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Contact Our Office About Legal Options Available for Your Child’s Birth Injuries
With the Birth Injury Lawyers Group, you can get help today. We will review your child’s oxygen deprivation birth injury case for free. Call (800) 222-9529 to get started today.