Oxygen deprivation during delivery significantly increases the risks of newborns suffering developmental delays, brain damage, and serious conditions that create a lifetime of medical and financial needs. In the most severe cases, newborns can suffer from permanent impairment, cerebral palsy, and complications that can shorten their lifespan or result in death.
When it comes to oxygen deprivation, babies may suffer from anoxia (the absence of oxygen in the brain, often resulting in permanent brain damage) or hypoxia (a term used to describe low levels of oxygen). While a lack of oxygen is a known risk during labor and delivery, the failures of treating medical professionals can make the problem worse, such as when they fail to identify warning signs and complications or fail to appropriately respond to critical situations. These instances of substandard care can increase the length of time a baby experiences oxygen deprivation, which in turn can affect the extent of damage.
During delivery, doctors and other treating medical professionals have an obligation to identify complications that any reasonable medical professional would be able to identify and respond to under similar circumstances. For example, medical professionals should closely monitor and identify signs of fetal distress during delivery in order to identify signs of oxygen deprivation and distress. When they are able to do so, they can make an appropriate response, which may include an emergency C-section, administration of hypothermia therapy (head cooling), or another timely response.
Due to various forms of negligence and substandard care, medical professionals may fail in their duty to appropriately identify and respond to oxygen deprivation. This may result from:
- Failures to monitor signs of fetal distress
- Failures to identify and treat hypoxic ischemia
- Failures to identify preeclampsia, umbilical cord issues, or other problems
- Failures to form C-sections or unreasonable delayed C-sections
- Delays in performing head cooling
Because negligence may prevent doctors from identifying hypoxic or anoxic injuries during delivery, families can still work with medical professionals to determine if their child suffered some type of damage. By performing tests such MRIs, EKGs, and EEGs, shortly after birth or the following months, doctors may diagnose brain damage to certain parts of the brain. These tests may be warranted when brain damage is suspected or when a child presents various noticeable symptoms, such as seizures, feeding problems, sleep apnea, and low Apgar scores.
With information regarding the circumstances present at birth, actions of treating medical professionals, and evidence provided through testing after birth, families can work with proven attorneys like those at Beam Legal Team to determine when and how oxygen deprivation harmed their child. This information will also be critical to highlighting the failures of treating medical professionals and securing the compensation victims and families need during birth injury lawsuits.
If you would like to discuss a potential birth injury case with a Chicago birth injury lawyer from Beam Legal Team, do not hesitate to reach out for a free and confidential consultation. Our attorneys have secured over $500 million in compensation for our clients due to our experience and commitment to the families we serve – and we are prepared to help make the difference for you. Contact us to get started.
Understanding “Fetal Stroke” and How Doctors Can Prevent It
Although most people tend to associate strokes with older individuals, babies also face risks of experiencing strokes, particularly in the newborn period. Fetal stroke is the term used to describe a stroke, or brain infarct, which occurs during gestation or the time of labor and delivery.
Fetal stroke is a significant risk-factor for birth injuries, including serious damage and conditions that cause permanent brain injury, impairment, and intellectual disabilities. Fetal stroke is also known to be one of the greatest risk factors for cerebral palsy. Due to the serious nature of neonatal strokes, it becomes essential for families considering a birth injury lawsuit to understand its causes and whether it could and should have been prevented in their unique case.