Common risk factors
There are many reasons a fetus or baby may be deprived of oxygen. These include:
- Prolonged labor
- Maternal sedation
- Difficult breech deliveries
- Problems with the umbilical cord
- Fetal malnutrition
The oxygen supply of both the mother and child need to be closely monitored during labor and delivery. If obstetricians notice any irregularities, they need to act fast and make a decision if they determine that a fetus, baby or mother:
- Has a depressed or irregular heartbeat
- Needs extra oxygen
- Shows symptoms that a rapid delivery needs to be performed
A lack of oxygen is the most common cause of birth injuries leading to infant brain injuries. Often, such injuries can be prevented if doctors act fast and perform a caesarean section delivery. But doctors and other medical professionals need to quickly diagnose any problems that cause the fetus to be in distress.
There are many warning signs indicating a fetus or newborn child's oxygen supply was restricted. But some of these warning signs are difficult to identity after the birth of a child. It's also challenging since many medical professionals do not point out if they made a mistake.
That's why you should be concerned if the medical staff performs any unusual procedures after the birth of your child. For example, a new development in trying to prevent birth injury is the use of cooling. It is not a recognized standard of care, but some research has shown that cooling can help prevent or minimize a potential injury from lack of oxygen to the fetal or newborn brain.
Our law firm has handled many cases where a medical team either did not cool at all or did not follow recognized protocols. In addition, since cooling is still relatively new, the long-term pattern of hypoxic newborn injury is changing. While a baby may appear normal, the child may demonstrate cognitive problems years in the future. For such reasons, whenever a child is cooled, it's important to investigate why the treatment was needed in the first place.
Parents trust medical professionals to spot the warning signs that something is wrong. It's the responsibility of the obstetrician to make the right medical choice for each infant at each stage of the birth process. And when they make the wrong decision, physicians or health care workers need to be held accountable for their actions.
Common, serious injuries
Hypoxia-related medical issues may cause permanent damage or even death. Some of these include:
- Fetal death - Hypoxia may cause death before, during or right after delivery.
- Sudden infant death syndrome - Hypoxia can be a cause of sudden infant death syndrome, also known as SIDS.
- Nervous system damage - Hypoxia could also cause central nervous system damage, resulting in long-term developmental issues.
- Neurological disorders - Hypoxia has also been implicated as a cause of disorders like ADHD, epilepsy and even eating disorders.
- Cardiac birth defects - Hypoxia may also be a cause of cardiac or circulatory system birth defects.
How we can help you
Hypoxia-related birth injuries can take a tremendous financial toll on families. Depending on the circumstances and severity of your child's injury or fatality, your family could face hundreds of thousands or millions of dollars in medical bills, future in-home care, lost income and many other expenses.
If your baby suffered from hypoxia, or asphyxia occurred as a result of inadequate monitoring and poor medical decisions, your family may be entitled to compensation for both medical costs and long-term care. The Illinois and Wisconsin hypoxia and asphyxia attorneys at Goldberg & Schulkin Law Offices can review your medical records and uncover the truth.
Don't wait to take legal action. Many states have strict deadlines (known as statutes of limitations) for filing a lawsuit or taking out legal action. We can make sure you meet those deadlines and build a strong, compelling legal case on your behalf. Find out how we can help you. Contact us and schedule your free case evaluation today.