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Birth Injury Due to Lack of Oxygen

Despite the vast improvements made to medicine and medical procedures over the decades, fetal injuries still occur during labor and pregnancy. One particular injury that can inflict lifelong damage to a child is oxygen deprivation, also known as birth asphyxia. Lack of oxygen is responsible for serious conditions including HIE (hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy), which can cause major brain damage or death in infants if not treated immediately and properly by trained medical professionals.

Oxygen deprivation, even lasting for only a couple of minutes, can result in neurological disorders like cerebral palsy, autism, ADHD, as well as physical ailments including impaired vision or paralysis.

The Causes

Issues that result in oxygen deprivation are less likely to occur in infants that have reached full term compared to babies that are born prematurely. However, every child is at risk and each delivery must be handled with extreme care.

Some birth complications which might reduce available oxygen to an infant are umbilical cord injuries including umbilical cord prolapse and knots or cysts in the umbilical cord, damaged airways, infections, fetal distress, trauma, excess medication, and contractions that come too close together.

No matter the exact cause of oxygen deprivation, a doctor must recognize the problem and ratify it immediately. Permanent damage can be done in a matter of minutes when oxygen is depleted or cannot make it to the baby’s brain. If immediate action is not take the results can be devastating.

More About It

Two stages of injury can result due to a lack of oxygen. The first stage is brain cell damage, usually occurring within minutes. The second stage is called reperfusion injury, which is caused by the rapid return of blood flow to the deprived tissues after recent oxygen deprivation. These sorts of injuries usually cause inflammation that can last from days to weeks.

If a baby who is deprived of oxygen for a short amount of time receives physical therapy and immediate medical care following the asphyxia, he or she will often recover without permanent damage or medical issues. However, longer bouts of oxygen deprivation or improper medical care used to treat birth asphyxia is more likely to have debilitating consequences.

What Can You Do?

If you or someone you love has suffered due to birth asphyxia handled by doctor who was negligent or made a mistake, contact Shea Law Group today to speak with one of our Chicago birth injury lawyers. We can get you the compensation you need to help you take care of your child, your family, and provide the long term care that is often required. Don’t hesitate. Call us to receive your free consultation anytime, day or night, and remember, we never collect unless we win your case. 1(773)-365-0040