When a baby is deprived of oxygen, either during or directly following birthing, a condition occurs which is known as asphyxia. This condition often leads to lifelong disability and sometimes death. Two types of chemical changes may happen when oxygen levels in the newborn are decreased. The first is known as hypoxemia, which are low levels of blood oxygen. The second is acidosis, which is the presence of too much acid in the blood.
Asphyxia may occur from several causes, some of which are unavoidable, while others result from negligent or improper medical care. Low levels of oxygen in the mother’s blood stream could lead to asphyxia of the infant. Lowered respiration after anesthesia, such as an epidural, can lead to a depleted oxygen supply to the baby. Sudden drops in blood pressure, prior to or during birth, are also risk factors for asphyxia. In other cases, the oxygen can be cut off due to placental detachment from the uterus, a condition known as placental abruption. A pinched or obstructed umbilical cord during pregnancy may also lead to birth asphyxia.
Birth asphyxia may still occur after the baby is born. This may be due simply to a difficult pregnancy. Blood pressure or respiratory abnormalities may cause asphyxia. Also, blood disorders such as anemia in the infant may prevent the blood from carrying enough oxygen.
If a baby’s heart rate and blood pressure are lower than normal at birth, this is an indication of asphyxia. Left untreated, the baby could suffer severe brain damage. The baby needs to be treated as soon as risk factors are detected for survival without lifelong debilitation. If the baby is still in the uterus, the mother can be given oxygen right though the delivery. A cesarean section may be required if the problems persist. If the baby is already born, the medical team may ventilate the baby and administer heart and blood pressure medication.
Cerebral palsy, a term for several conditions resulting from brain damage, may occur from asphyxia, as may several other mental diseases and disorders. When parents are faced with this heartbreaking situation, they first need to seek expert medical attention from medical professionals specializing in asphyxia related conditions. Time is critical as the situation will worsen without treatment and the baby’s lifelong outlook will diminish quickly.
Dolman Law Group
It is also important to speak with an attorney who is experienced in birth related injuries. The lawyer will help you to determine if medical malpractice was wholly or partially responsible for your child’s condition. The lawyer can check the records of monitoring equipment used before, during and after labor which shows the oxygen levels in the mother and baby, respiration, heartbeat, blood pressure, and more. Whether or not the doctor took all possible steps to prevent asphyxia and the resulting damage will be evident from medical records and facts. If more could have been done to prevent the damage that occurred, the doctor could be held legally responsible. It is important to act quickly because the time between the birth and filing a case is limited.
A child who has severe brain damage from birth is going to need lifelong special care. This care is very costly. The birth related injury attorneys at Dolman Law Group will help you recover the funds that you deserve to care for your child. Reach out to Dolman Law Group today and speak with a medical malpractice attorney. There is no cost or obligation for an evaluation of your case.
Dolman Law Group
800 North Belcher Road
Clearwater, FL 33765