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What is Perinatal Hypoxia and is It a Preventable Birth Injury?

By: Anapol Weiss

Perinatal hypoxia, meaning the lack of oxygen to an unborn child during labor and delivery, can occur if signs of certain complications during labor and/or delivery are not caught in time by medical staff. This dangerous oxygen deficiency in an infant can have life-threatening effects.

The condition can cause long-term neurological complications that range from behavioral deficits to severe seizures and cerebral palsy, according to an article published in the Journal of Biomedicine and Biomedical Technology.

For more information on CP injuries, contact a cerebral palsy attorney at Anapol Weiss today.

If left untreated, perinatal hypoxia can also lead to a brain injury called hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy (HIE) or intrapartum asphyxia. As many as three quarters of infants with severe HIE die from organ failure or lung infections.

Stopping Perinatal Hypoxia: When Something Should Have Been Done

Umbilical cord problems in the delivery room – such as a prolapsed or compressed umbilical cord – can cause perinatal hypoxia if they are not diagnosed and remedied in a timely manner. Fetal heart rate monitoring may indicate signs of oxygen deprivation or other problems. A physician must then act quickly to stop perinatal hypoxia and save a newborn from sustaining permanent brain damage at birth.

When perinatal hypoxia occurs, negligence in the delivery room can have lifelong consequences. In addition to unsuspected medical bills, parents are left with the emotional pain of knowing these injuries could have been prevented.

Contact Anapol Weiss to get the help you need if perinatal hypoxia injured your child during birth.