Birth Asphyxia or Cerebral Hypoxia
You’ve been waiting for 9 months, and maybe your whole life, to meet your new baby. It should be a magical time filled with excitement about what the future holds for your new family, but unfortunately, this isn’t always the case. Sometimes, complications during pregnancy, or labor and delivery, result in serious injury and lasting medical problems for your baby. One such birth injury is called birth asphyxia or cerebral hypoxia, and it essentially means that your baby was deprived of oxygen sometime before, during, or right after, delivery.
This oxygen deprivation can have serious consequences, including permanent brain damage to your child. Worst of all, it can sometimes be due to a doctor’s negligence or mistake. If your child suffered cerebral hypoxia because of a doctor’s error, this is a form of medical malpractice. Continue reading to learn more, or call our offices at (312) 236-2900 for a free consultation with a trusted birth injury attorney.
Causes of Birth Asphyxia
The process of labor and delivery can be a traumatic event for the bodies of both mom and baby. It’s important for your medical staff to attentively and appropriately monitor you and your baby as labor progresses. That way, if an event occurs that deprives your baby of an adequate oxygen supply, it can be efficiently and effectively addressed. Common causes of birth asphyxia include:
- Some blockage in your infant’s airway
- Insufficient oxygen levels in the mother
- Unstable maternal blood pressure
- Placental abruption, a complication where the placenta prematurely separates from the uterus.
- Compression or prolapse of the umbilical cord
Signs of Birth Asphyxia
Your doctor and medical team should employ best practices in order to monitor you and your baby through pregnancy, and during delivery. That way, birth asphyxia can be detected and addressed before permanent injury results. Inadequate oxygen supply can be detected through a number of tests, including monitoring fetal heart rate, respiration, neurological functioning, and reflexes. Common symptoms of birth asphyxia include:
- Pressure on the umbilical cord
- Low fetal heart rate
- Low maternal blood pressure
- Unhealthy skin color
- Overly acidic blood
What can happen?
If birth asphyxia is not detected and addressed promptly, your baby and family could suffer lifelong consequences. Of course, we all need oxygen to survive. If your baby is deprived of oxygen for too long, he or she could die. If your child lives, he or she may have permanent brain injury, such as Cerebral Palsy, with the severity depending on how long the oxygen deprivation lasted. Your medical staff must be keenly aware and appropriately responsive to any warning signs of birth asphyxia, or the results could be catastrophic.
If your child suffered birth asphyxia due to a doctor’s negligence or mistake, our medical malpractice attorneys are here to help. Please call Staver Accident Injury Lawyers, P.C. at (312) 236-2900 to schedule your free consultation. Don’t hesitate to contact us. Medical malpractice claims have some of the shortest statutes of limitations, and time could be running out to file yours.