What happens when a baby is deprived of oxygen depends on several factors. When the oxygen deprivation is severe and lasts long enough, the baby could suffer damage to their brain and other vital organs. In the most severe cases, the baby could pass away because of their injury.
A baby’s brain and other vital organs require a constant supply of oxygenated blood to function correctly. When there is a disruption in this blood flow, damage can occur within a few minutes. The baby may suffer lifelong delays and disabilities as a result.
Because this damage is irreversible, preventing this type of situation from occurring is best. Doctors and other medical caregivers must monitor both the baby and mother closely during pregnancy, labor, and delivery to watch for signs of complications. If oxygen deprivation does occur, the baby must be delivered as soon as possible so that doctors can ensure they begin breathing or receive care right away.
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Long-Term Concerns Related to Oxygen Deprivation
When a baby experiences a deprivation of oxygen, they may suffer damage to their brain and other organs during the initial period and reperfusion injuries when blood flow returns. This can cause a wide range of injuries, complications, and medical conditions, to include:
- Cerebral palsy
- Autism spectrum disorders
- Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)
- Learning disabilities
- Low vision
- Hearing loss
- Heart dysfunction
- Lung damage
- Kidney damage
- Liver damage
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Treating Oxygen Deprivation in Newborns
If your child suffered oxygen deprivation at birth, they might require immediate care and life-sustaining treatment. This may include:
- Supplemental oxygen
- Mechanical ventilation
- Medication to regulate the heart rate and blood pressure
- Hypothermia therapy
- Extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO)
According to Neonatal Network: The Journal of Neonatal Nursing, neonatal nurses play a vital role in the monitoring and treatment of these babies. In the neonatal intensive care unit, nurses will monitor the child’s stability and offer interventions to ensure they remain stable. They will also provide treatments that may help children who experienced moderate or severe oxygen deprivation.
According to the medical journal Early Human Development, inducing hypothermia in babies with this type of birth asphyxia injury can offer improved outcomes. By cooling these babies with hypothermia therapy, doctors may be able to reduce the brain damage suffered and improve their neurologic outcome.
What happens when a baby is deprived of oxygen may include severe and lifelong damage to vital organs or the brain, even with hypothermia therapy. Some of these birth injuries may be apparent immediately, and some may be unknown for months or even years. These children will require close monitoring to ensure they meet all developmental milestones or determine if they need therapy, early intervention, or other treatment and support.
You Might Be Able to Hold the Doctor or Hospital Responsible for Your Child’s Birth Injuries
After your lawyer reviews the specifics of your child’s case, they will determine if you can take legal action to hold the doctor, hospital administration, or another party responsible. If their oxygen deprivation and related injuries occurred because of medical negligence, you might have a valid birth injury case.
Your attorney will be a medical malpractice attorney who regularly represents families of birth injury victims in your state. This will allow them to meet all applicable state laws while building your case, assigning liability, and navigating the legal system. They will represent your child’s best interests, including working with a medical expert witness to verify medical negligence, documenting your family’s current and future expenses, and taking other steps to prove your case.
Most medical malpractice lawyers work based on contingent fees. You will not need to pay a fee in advance. Your lawyer will only get paid if they can negotiate a settlement or recover damages in your case.
Recoverable damages could include:
- Current and future medical care, therapy, and related costs
- Current and ongoing care costs
- The time you missed at work because of your child’s injuries
- Any related out-of-pocket expenses
- Pain and suffering losses
- Other tangible and intangible damages
- Other types of damages, in some cases
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Learn More About Your Rights to Compensation During a Free Case Review Today
If you have questions about whether your child’s birth injury will support a medical malpractice case or are ready to get started, connect with the Birth Injury Lawyers Group to get help today. We offer free case evaluations and guidance for parents of children who suffered oxygen deprivation at birth and are now living with complications or related medical conditions.
We want to help you understand the strength of your case and the potential options for holding the negligent doctor or hospital accountable. Let us review your child’s injury and legal options today.
Call (800) 222-9529 now. We have a member of our office available who can discuss your child’s case with you today.