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Complications Caused by a Lack of Oxygen during Birth

By: Anapol Weiss

Reduced oxygen before, during or after a baby’s birth can cause severe and potentially fatal injuries. When signs of oxygen deprivation arise, health care providers must identify the cause and take immediate action and contact a birth injury lawyer at Anapol Weiss.

Birth asphyxia is a condition in which a baby’s brain and organs are not receiving an adequate amount of oxygen. Without enough oxygen, cells in the body quickly begin to malfunction and can die or sustain permanent damage. A baby can then suffer from a range of injuries depending on the amount of oxygen, if any, he or she is receiving.

There are two distinct conditions to describe the severity of oxygen deprivation during birth. Perinatal hypoxia means the baby is not getting enough oxygen to the brain and body. When there is no oxygen, a baby is suffering from perinatal anoxia. Both conditions can result in a serious brain injury called hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy (HIE). Complications from HIE include:

  • Death
  • Coma
  • Irregular breathing
  • Heart rate and blood pressure irregularities
  • Seizures
  • Diminished reflexes
  • Apnea

If HIE is not fatal, a child can develop movement disorders like cerebral palsy, developmental delays, sensory or digestive problems, chronic seizure disorders, and other permanent health issues.

What Causes Oxygen Deprivation?

Lack of oxygen at birth can be caused by problems with the placenta or umbilical cord, sedation of the mother, a long or difficult delivery, and other dangerous issues. The responsibility rests on health care professionals to recognize these problems and take action to prevent an adverse outcome.

Getting Help

Health care providers must take responsibility when their negligence leads to birth injuries. If your child was hurt during birth, we can help. Nothing can change what happened, but the birth injury lawyers at Anapol Weiss can be your family’s voice in court and obtain justice and compensation for problems that never should have happened. Contact our firm for assistance.