Top 7 Questions Parents ask about what causes Birth Asphyxia?

  • What is Birth Asphyxia?

Birth Asphyxia is the lack of oxygen to the baby during labor and childbirth. Severe oxygen deficiency is known as birth hypoxia/intrauterine hypoxia. When the infant lacks oxygen, its cells cannot work properly and can often result in brain damage and possible death. The brain damage is called hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy, known as HIE. Infants who suffer from HIE can end up with permanent impairments or disabilities. These can be cognitive deficits, hearing and/or vision loss, and cerebral palsy. Even without detectable damage, children who have had birth asphyxia are at an increased risk of learning disabilities and other issues later in life.

  • What causes Birth Asphyxia?

The causes fall under three particular categories. 1. Medical conditions of the mother. 2. Complications during labor and delivery and 3. Failure by the nurses, doctors and other medical staff to properly interpret and act on signs of distress from the fetal heart rate monitor.

  • What Medical Conditions of the Mother Put the Infant at Risk for Birth Asphyxia?

These causes can include gestational and pre-existing diabetes, liver problems including cholestasis, maternal hypertension (high blood pressure), among other things.

  • What Complications during Childbirth Put the Infant at Risk for Birth Asphyxia?

Some complications include cord compression, prolonged dilation and prolonged descent, nuchal cord, cord prolapse, breech delivery, placental abruption, occiput posterior vs occiput anterior, and shoulder dystocia. Failure to properly interpret and act upon fetal heart rate monitoring can cause birth asphyxia

  • Can the Severity of Brain Injury from Birth Asphyxia Be Reduced?

The answer is yes. Body cooling therapy can reduce the risk of permanent brain injury. Body cooling therapy must be initiated shortly after birth to be effective. Failure by the medical team to promptly initiate body cooling therapy or to transfer the baby to a hospital that is capable of doing body cooling therapy can be medical malpractice.  Body cooling therapy slows down or stops damaging effects of birth asphyxia by lowering the infant’s temperature for up to 72 hours. This is done by placing the baby on a waterproof blanket that contains cool circulating water which can reduce the baby’s temperature to as low as 91.4 degrees. After 3 days of treatment they can then allow the babies temperature to return to normal.

  • What Happens If My Child is Diagnosed with Hypoxic-Ischemic Encephalopathy or Cerebral Palsy?

HIE and cerebral palsy can result in long term disability requiring significant care, treatment and financial resources. If your baby has HIE or cerebral palsy, you may have a medical malpractice case against the healthcare team whose negligence caused the brain injury or who failed to cool the baby.

  • What is Your Next Step?

I personally was amazed when doing my research that devastating lifelong injuries to babies can be  avoided if the doctors, nurses and trained staff are paying adequate attention. This really bothers me and concerns me. What you need to do now if you are a victim of this medical malpractice is contact Thomas & Wan, LLP and let Ms. Thomas and Ms. Wan put your mind at ease. They have over 45 years of combined experience handling cases like this and they themselves have done countless hours of research. Please contact 713-529-1177 for a FREE consultation, and let us help you and your baby today. You are not alone in this.

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