It is the hope and prayer of every parent that their child is born healthy and happy. Unfortunately, many babies suffer injuries during pregnancy, labor and delivery.
One of the most serious injuries that can occur to a baby is a lack of adequate oxygen.
During pregnancy, labor and delivery, it’s essential that the baby receives adequate oxygen.
Oxygen deprivation during labor is known as birth asphyxia. This means, the baby is suffocated inside the mother, which can cause serious injuries to the baby’s brain and other organs. In this post, Chicago birth injury lawyer will discuss some key details about oxygen deprivation and how it can cause birth injuries.
Some key terms related to oxygen deprivation
Hypoxia: Deficiency in the amount of oxygen reaching the tissues, which means that the blood supply is adequate, but the blood lacks an adequate amount of oxygen.
Hypoxemia: Abnormally low level of oxygen in the blood. It can lead to hypoxia in the organs, and if not treated in time, it can lead to birth asphyxia and even permanent brain damage, and in worse cases, death.
Ischemia: Inadequate blood supply to the brain and other tissues and organs.
Key causes of oxygen deprivation in babies
Oxygen deprivation can be caused by various medical complications, some of which are completely preventable or treatable. Some common causes of oxygen deprivation include:
Umbilical cord problems: A compressed or kinked umbilical cord can reduce or stop the flow of blood to the baby. Some of these problems include:
- Umbilical cord compression
- Umbilical cord prolapse
- Nuchal cord (when the cord is wrapped around baby’s neck)
Uterus problems: There are various complications involving the uterus that can impact the flow of oxygen and blood to the baby. These include:
- Uterine rupture
- Uterine hyperstimulation or Tachysystole
- Uteroplacental Insufficiency (inability of placenta to deliver adequate amount of oxygen and blood)
Placental problems: The placenta is attached to the inside of the uterine wall and is connect to the baby by the umbilical cord. It is responsible for the exchange of oxygen, nutrient and carbon dioxide between the mother and baby. Some placental complications that can lead to oxygen deprivation in the baby are:
- Placental abruption (the placenta tears away from uterine wall)
- Placenta Previa (low lying placenta that blocks the cervix)
- Preeclampsia (high blood pressure in mother)
Oxygen deprivation can be prevented
It is the duty of the doctors to recognize any complications and to take necessary actions quickly to protect the baby from any injuries. When medical professionals fail to recognize the signs of oxygen deprivation, such as an abnormal fetal heart rate, it amounts to medical malpractice.
If you think your child’s birth injury is a result of the doctor’s failure to identify and treat oxygen deprivation, you may have a claim. You should seek legal help from a competent Chicago birth injury lawyer.