Infant Asphyxia During Labor and Delivery Can Lead to Life-Long Complication or Death

 Posted on April 15, 2022 in Medical Malpractice

Chicago Medical Negligence LawyerParents expecting a new baby may feel increasingly anxious as the due date approaches. This concern is understandable. After all, there are nearly countless things that can go wrong during an infant’s birth. Asphyxia, or lack of oxygen, is one of the most common types of birth injuries suffered by newborns. Many different problems can cause a baby to be deprived of oxygen. Sometimes, these problems are the direct result of medical negligence during birth.

Causes of Birth Asphyxia

Babies in the womb receive oxygenated blood through the umbilical cord. When the baby is born, he or she takes his or her first breath and no longer relies on the mother’s blood for oxygen. Unfortunately, many different problems can arise during this transition which deprive the baby of oxygen. The longer the baby’s brain is deprived of oxygen, the worse the consequences.

Birth asphyxia may be caused by:

  • Prolonged labor – Prolonged labor may be caused by breech presentation, cephalopelvic disproportion, inadequate uterine activity, and many other issues.

  • Umbilical cord issues – Umbilical cord prolapse, nuchal cord, and other problems with the umbilical cord can completely cut off oxygen to the baby’s brain and body. The baby may need an emergency Cesarean delivery (c-section) to survive. If the c-section is not performed in time, the baby may suffer irreversible brain damage.

  • Problems with the placenta – Placental abruption and other placental complications can reduce blood flow to the baby.

  • Shoulder dystocia – If the baby’s shoulder gets stuck on the mother’s pelvic bone, the baby may be unable to pass through the birth canal quickly enough to avoid oxygen deprivation.

Consequences of Oxygen Deprivation During Labor and Delivery

When a baby does not receive enough oxygen to the brain, damage begins within minutes. Even mild oxygen deprivation can lead to cognitive disabilities. Developmental problems, including learning disabilities and difficulty learning to walk may be caused by birth asphyxia. Epilepsy and other seizure disorders, vision impairments, and cerebral palsy may also be caused by low oxygen during birth.

Children who survive birth asphyxia may require medical intervention and specialized education services throughout childhood and into adulthood.

How a Birth Injury Claim Can Help

If negligent medical care causes a baby to suffer from oxygen deprivation during birth, the child’s parents may be able to bring a birth injury claim against the at-fault parties. Birth injury claims provide parents with an avenue for holding the negligent medical providers accountable for the harm they cause innocent babies. Parents may also be entitled to financial compensation for past and future medical expenses and other damages.

Contact a Chicago Birth Injury Lawyer

Contact a Chicago medical malpractice attorney from Winters Salzetta O'Brien & Richardson, LLC if your baby suffered from medical negligence during birth. Call us at 312-236-6324 for a free consultation.



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