When delivering a baby, there are many factors that a doctor must be aware of. The health of the mother and her baby must be closely monitored during delivery to ensure both are well.
One aspect of monitoring the wellbeing of a birthing mother and her baby is ensuring that each has enough oxygen throughout the delivery process. The failure to do this can be devastating.
The Washington, D.C. anoxic brain injury attorneys of LawMD can help you if your child was harmed because of medical negligence at birth. Contact us today to learn how we can help you recover compensation in the aftermath of this tragedy.
Anoxia describes issues in which oxygen flow is disrupted. When a fetus is in utero, they primarily receive oxygen from their mother via the umbilical cord.
Anoxia is specifically the absence of oxygen, and an anoxic brain injury is brain damage that is caused by this absence. When anoxia occurs during a birth, the baby may be unable to breathe for several minutes (generally around 5 minutes or more).
Hypoxia is a similar condition to anoxia. Both issues are marked by interruptions to oxygen flow, but hypoxia describes a low flow of oxygen rather than a complete absence of oxygen flow.
In cases of hypoxia, the baby may be unable to breathe at all or be receiving limited oxygen. The disruption to oxygen flow typically lasts for less than five minutes in cases of hypoxia. Although hypoxia does not involve a complete lack of oxygen like anoxia does, the effects can be just as detrimental. As with anoxia, hypoxia commonly affects brain development and can lead to similar issues.
Anoxia and hypoxia can cause detrimental effects to the health of a newborn baby. Because the brain is affected by these injuries, issues with mobility and sensation often result. In severe cases, anoxia and hypoxia can be fatal.
Conditions that can result from anoxia or hypoxia include:
In many cases, anoxic brain injuries are the result of medical negligence. Umbilical cord injuries are one of the most common ways that anoxic and hypoxic brain injuries result — if the umbilical cord becomes pinched or is otherwise affected, this can limit the baby’s supply of oxygen. Anoxic brain injuries also can result from blood loss.
When anoxia does occur, it can be corrected if the doctor interferes quickly. One option for addressing anoxia is administering a C-section. Competent doctors must be able to recognize the signs of anoxia and hypoxia, and act promptly. The failure to identify and correct a disruption of oxygen flow during birth is an example of doctor negligence, and the liable parties could be ordered to pay damages to the affected family.
The LawMD legal team is a group of experienced attorneys who are also physicians. Our medical backgrounds provide us with informed insight into the causes of issues such as anoxic and hypoxic brain injuries, as well as liability and potential treatment. We will work with you to determine the medical attention your child will need, and will fight to ensure they are cared for.