The overwhelming number of people who have brain damage in the U.S. are infants. In newborns, the cause of brain damage is sometimes a lack of oxygen.
If your newborn suffered serious consequences from lack of oxygen soon after birth, was this issue due to medical malpractice?
About newborn asphyxia
As many as 10 out of 1,000 babies suffer newborn asphyxia or lack of oxygen shortly after birth. According to information published in the Americana Journal of Neuroradiology, proper medical treatment and monitoring could have prevented many of these cases from happening. Two types of newborn asphyxia occur. Apoxia refers to a total lack of oxygen often resulting in severe brain damage while hypoxia indicates an insufficient amount of oxygen, which can lead to moderate brain damage.
How it happens
Problems that arise during birth or immediately thereafter can cause a newborn to suffer a lack of oxygen:
– Birth canal issue: The baby can get stuck in the birth canal, especially during a difficult labor.
– Umbilical cord problem: The umbilical cord can become twisted and wrap around the baby’s neck, cutting off the supply of oxygen. In addition, the doctor may cut the umbilical cord before the infant is able to breathe on its own.
– Blocked airway: If mucous becomes lodged in the baby’s lungs, it can constrict the airways.
Each of these critical issues requires a rapid response from attending medical personnel in order to prevent newborn asphyxia.
The next step
An infant suffering from brain damage or other serious condition as a result of newborn asphyxia may face a lifetime of expensive medical care. Holding medical personnel accountable is essential to protect the rights of the affected family to receive full and fair compensation to cover the child’s current and future medical needs.