What Causes a Baby To Suffer From Hypoxia?
The birth of a new child should be one of the happiest moments of a person’s life. Sadly, many babies suffer from birth injuries that cause serious, often permanent problems. One issue that can happen during birth is hypoxia, which is inadequate oxygen. When a baby does not receive enough oxygen to his or her brain, there can be debilitating brain damage that causes severe impairment. In some cases, hypoxia-related injuries are a result of medical malpractice. If you have reason to believe that medical negligence played a role in your child’s birth injury, contact an experienced attorney to learn about your legal options.
Factors That May Increase the Risk of Neonatal Hypoxia
The human brain needs a steady flow of oxygen in order to function properly. When an infant’s brain does not receive enough oxygen before, during, or after delivery, the brain can become severely damaged. Doctors and nurses should be aware of the risk factors for hypoxia and the warning signs that a baby may be suffering from hypoxia so that swift corrective action can be taken to prevent brain damage. Some of the most common risk factors for hypoxia include:
- Prolonged or traumatic delivery
- Umbilical cord injuries
- Congenital heart disease
- Placental insufficiency and placental abruption
- Excessive hemorrhaging during pregnancy or delivery
- Shoulder dystocia
Even if an infant is deprived of oxygen, brain damage and other permanent effects may be avoided through medical treatments such as hypo-or-hyperthermia management, cooling therapy, fluid management, and ventilation. If hypoxia progresses into brain injury, the infant may develop cerebral palsy, hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy, cognitive impairment, and other serious disorders.
Determining Whether Hypoxia-Related Conditions Are a Result of Medical Negligence
In some cases, a child suffers a birth injury such as hypoxia and there is nothing that medical staff could have done differently to prevent the injury. In other cases, mistakes made by medical professionals during pregnancy, delivery, or after the infant’s birth can exacerbate the damage caused by hypoxia. If a child develops medical problems because of medical negligence, a medical malpractice claim may help the family recover compensation. Reimbursement for hospital bills, ongoing and future medical treatment, adaptive equipment such as wheelchairs, and other expenses may be available. However, determining whether or not a child’s medical condition is the result of medical malpractice can be a complex process and will require guidance from a lawyer highly experienced in birth injury claims.
Contact a Joliet Birth Injury Lawyer
If hypoxia is not recognized and treated quickly and accurately, an infant can suffer life-long consequences that require expensive medical intervention. If you would like to learn more about medical malpractice claims involving infant injury, contact Schwartz Injury Law. Schedule a free, no-obligation consultation with a knowledgeable Illinois medical malpractice attorney by calling our office at 815-723-7300 today.