An expectant mother does all she can to take care of herself in anticipation of her baby's birth. The physician and staff take over during delivery, doing all they can to keep the baby safe. Still, injuries do happen, and one of the most common is an infant brain injury due to lack of oxygen.
There are four common reasons for oxygen deprivation to occur:
- Birth canal issue: During a difficult labor, the baby may get stuck in the birth canal. Medical staff must intervene quickly to resolve the matter. Not only is oxygen deprivation a problem, but an infant that becomes lodged in the birth canal is also subject to other injuries.
- Umbilical cord problems: An umbilical cord that becomes twisted, knotted or prolapsed can cut off the infant's oxygen. If the cord gets wrapped around the neck, time is of the essence in ensuring that the problem is solved, and the baby can breathe properly. Another crisis occurs if the doctor cuts the cord too quickly, which can cut off the supply of oxygen before the infant is able to breathe on his own.
- Blocked airway: Blocked airways can occur if mucous lodges in the baby's lungs. Again, medical staff must act quickly to clear constricted airways and prevent possible long-term medical issues.
- Placental abruption: A placental abruption refers to a situation where the uterus and placenta separate too quickly; as a result, the newborn may not get a sufficient amount of oxygen.
If your newborn experienced any of these conditions and was diagnosed with neurologic injury you may want the advise of an experienced medical negligent attorney to determine is your child's injury could have and should have been prevented.
Of the more than 1 million people in the United States who have some form of brain damage, many are infants. In fact, according to the American Journal of Neuroradiology, lack of oxygen affects as many as two to 10 newborns in every 1,000. In the event this issue has caused your baby to suffer brain damage, explore your legal options if you believe the medical staff was at fault.