When the brain does not get the proper amount of oxygen, it can lead to a condition known as hypoxia. This, in turn, can lead to brain swelling and very serious injuries. Left untreated, it is potentially fatal. A baby who endures hypoxia during birth could end up with cognitive deficiencies, cerebral palsy or HIE (hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy).
Doctors need to know exactly how to react when a child is at risk. Quick action can not only save the child’s life, but it may also reduce the negative impact and allow a full recovery. Mild hypoxia itself is survivable and a child could be completely fine, even after oxygen deprivation.
The true risk comes when doctors act improperly or do not offer adequate care, failing to relieve the baby of the conditions that are causing hypoxia. This puts the child at risk for permanent damage. As with other types of brain injuries, once serious damage has been done, the brain may never recover. An otherwise healthy child could wind up with learning disabilities, physical issues, cognitive disabilities and many other health complications.
Issues during birth that could lead to hypoxia include umbilical cord prolapse, which is when the cord connecting the child to the mother exits the uterus as the child does or even before birth, and shoulder dystocia, which is when the child’s shoulder becomes trapped back behind its mother’s pubic bone.
Did your child suffer from oxygen deprivation during birth, and do you think that a negligent doctor caused the child harm? If so, it is very important for you to know all of the legal options you have available to you.