Birth Hypoxia

Could Birth Hypoxia Indicate Medical Malpractice? Consult a Cook County Birth Injury Lawyer.

Hypoxic and anoxic brain injuries can cause severe developmental disabilities and disorders, and in the most severe cases, even the death of a baby. Victims of these disorders need specific medical care and special educational services for much of their lives. This specialized treatment is expensive and can easily cost $1 million, if not more. Who will cover these costs if the injuries are due to malpractice? A Cook County birth injury lawyer can tell you.

A hypoxic injury arises when the brain is partially deprived of oxygen. And anoxic brain injuries are caused by a complete lack of oxygen. It is most often fatal, but if not, the victim is doomed to a hopeless life of total unresponsiveness to the world and family around them. Hypoxic and anoxic brain injuries in newborns can be caused by medical malpractice during the birthing process in any of the following instances:

  • Extended labor;
  • Failure to perform a C-section that would prevent catastrophic injury;
  • Placenta rupture in the mother;
  • Overuse of the labor-inducing drug Pitocin;
  • Umbilical cord compression or twisting;
  • High blood pressure (preeclampsia) or low blood pressure in the mother; and
  • Eclampsia (extremely blood pressure that causes seizures in the mother).

Events that Can Lead to Infant Hypoxia

Restricted blood flow from the mother to the fetus can produce birth hypoxia or asphyxia (suffocation) due to oxygen deprivation. When medical personnel fail to monitor the condition of the fetus or address oxygen deficiency in a timely manner, the baby may suffer permanent brain damage or wrongful death.

Brain damage (Encephalopathy) to an infant can cause many serious disorders and other disabilities such as cerebral palsy (CP). It causes impaired motor skills, learning disabilities, cognitive problems, speech difficulty and emotional challenges. Secondary afflictions associated with Hypoxia can include liver and kidney failure, spinal cord and other neurological disorders, seizures, epilepsy and autism. Another difficulty experienced by what may appear to be a normal child, yet appear later in development, can include ADHD.

Unfortunately, anoxia and hypoxia are typical risks of the birthing process. During delivery, the umbilical cord can sometimes pinch or kink, restricting blood/oxygen flow to the point that the baby may stop breathing during the birth. How long the baby stops breathing determines the clinical effect due to its lack of oxygen. If it’s only oxygen-deprived for a minute or two, hypoxia may be the result. But if it’s five minutes or more, fatal anoxia may be the result.

In rare cases, hypoxia can occur by prolapsed umbilical cord, which occurs when it precedes the baby’s exit from the mother’s uterus into the birth canal. One of the most important functions of the birthing team is to monitor the baby’s oxygen intake closely. Any unusual restriction of oxygen should be a clear sign to the birthing team that an emergency Caesarean section by the doctor is necessary.

Medical Malpractice after a Baby’s Hypoxia Injury

Often birth injury lawyers will contact medical experts who are intimately familiar with issues surrounding birth injury hypoxia to strengthen the claim or case. But if your baby has already been examined by a neurologist, Buttafuoco & Associates will likely approach yours for the necessary testimony.

If you suspect or your doctor has said that your baby is suffering from hypoxia-induced injury, contact us for a complimentary case evaluation. Buttafuoco & Associates’ experienced birth injury attorneys offer a free consultation. Contact us anytime by calling 1-800-NOW-HURT or fill out our online case form.