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Oxygen Deprivation

If your baby suffered oxygen deprivation resulting in cerebral palsy or another birth injury, you may be able to seek compensation. To schedule a free case review with a birth injury lawyer, please contact us today.

Birth Injuries Involving Oxygen Deprivation

A lack of oxygen in the brain, called asphyxia, occurs when something interrupts the newborn's breathing or reduces its oxygen supply. Although the blood of a newborn can deal with a lack of oxygen for short periods of time, any extended reduction or absence of oxygen going to the baby's brain can produce hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy. When this occurs, some of the tissue in the cerebral motor (having to do with movement) cortex and other parts of the brain dies.

Numerous birth injuries can result from a lack of oxygen being sent to the baby's brain in the perinatal period — the time just before, during and after birth. Factors that can cause this kind of brain damage are severe low blood pressure in the mother carrying the baby, rupture of the uterus, detachment of the placenta or problems having to do with the umbilical cord.

Sometimes the umbilical cord gets compressed and keeps the oxygen-rich blood from flowing to the infant, or the cord can become wrapped around the newborn's neck. If the cord precedes the baby's head out of the birth canal, pressure from the head can compress the cord, suppressing flow of the oxygen rich blood.

Other complications during labor and delivery have to do with the position of the baby in the birth canal. Prolongation of the time the baby spends in the birth canal during delivery can increase the possibility that the baby won't get enough oxygen.

Breech birth (when the buttocks come out first) and shoulder dystocia (when a shoulder gets caught behind the pubic bone and prevents the baby from emerging) are two examples of complications that can delay the birth of the baby.

A number of disorders result from this oxygen deprivation, but one of the most serious is cerebral palsy (CP).

Oxygen Deprivation and Cerebral Palsy

It is now thought that oxygen deprivation and other complications during the birth process cause five to 10 percent of cases of cerebral palsy in newborns. The brain cells deprived of oxygen die. Sometimes, medical personnel are responsible for not acting quickly enough to deliver the baby when there are complications.

Physicians and others involved in the delivery need to be alert to potential problems and ready to deal with them promptly. An unnecessary delay in delivering the infant because of a difficult labor and delivery, or failing to act appropriately can cause oxygen deprivation in a newborn.

Contact a Cerebral Palsy Lawyer

If your baby suffered from oxygen deprivation that you believe could have been prevented and resulted in your child having cerebral palsy, you should contact a cerebral palsy lawyer to find out if you have a claim. Our cerebral palsy lawyers may be able to help you recover compensation for your baby's injuries. To learn more, contact us to schedule a free review of your case.

  • 1Contact info
  • 2Birth conditions
  • 3Hospitalization
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