Oxygen deprivation during delivery significantly increases the risks of
newborns suffering developmental delays, brain damage, and serious conditions
that create a lifetime of medical and financial needs. In the most severe
cases, newborns can suffer from permanent impairment,
cerebral palsy, and complications that can shorten their lifespan or result in death.
When it comes to oxygen deprivation, babies may suffer from anoxia (the
absence of oxygen in the brain, often resulting in permanent brain damage)
or hypoxia (a term used to describe low levels of oxygen). While a lack
of oxygen is a known risk during labor and delivery, the failures of treating
medical professionals can make the problem worse, such as when they fail
to identify warning signs and complications or fail to appropriately respond
to critical situations. These instances of substandard care can increase
the length of time a baby experiences oxygen deprivation, which in turn
can affect the extent of damage.
During delivery, doctors and other treating medical professionals have
an obligation to identify complications that any reasonable medical professional
would be able to identify and respond to under similar circumstances.
For example, medical professionals should closely monitor and identify
signs of fetal distress during delivery in order to identify signs of
oxygen deprivation and distress. When they are able to do so, they can
make an appropriate response, which may include an emergency C-section,
hypothermia therapy (head cooling), or another timely response.
Due to various forms of negligence and substandard care, medical professionals
may fail in their duty to appropriately identify and respond to oxygen
deprivation. This may result from:
- Failures to monitor signs of fetal distress
- Failures to identify and treat hypoxic ischemia
- Failures to identify preeclampsia, umbilical cord issues, or other problems
- Failures to form C-sections or unreasonable delayed C-sections
- Delays in performing head cooling
Because negligence may prevent doctors from identifying hypoxic or anoxic
injuries during delivery, families can still work with medical professionals
to determine if their child suffered some type of damage. By performing
tests such MRIs, EKGs, and EEGs, shortly after birth or the following
months, doctors may diagnose brain damage to certain parts of the brain.
These tests may be warranted when brain damage is suspected or when a
child presents various noticeable symptoms, such as seizures, feeding
problems, sleep apnea, and low Apgar scores.
With information regarding the circumstances present at birth, actions
of treating medical professionals, and evidence provided through testing
after birth, families can work with proven attorneys like those at Beam
& Raymond to determine when and how oxygen deprivation harmed their
child. This information will also be critical to highlighting the failures
of treating medical professionals and securing the compensation victims
and families need during birth injury lawsuits.
If you would like to discuss a potential birth injury case with a Chicago
birth injury lawyer from Beam & Raymond, do not hesitate to reach
out for a free and confidential consultation. Our attorneys have secured
over $500 million in compensation for our clients due to our experience
and commitment to the families we serve – and we are prepared to
help make the difference for you.
Contact us to get started.
Understanding “Fetal Stroke” and How Doctors Can Prevent It
Although most people tend to associate strokes with older individuals,
babies also face risks of experiencing strokes, particularly in the newborn
period. Fetal stroke is the term used to describe a stroke, or brain infarct,
which occurs during gestation or the time of labor and delivery.
Fetal stroke is a significant risk-factor for
birth injuries, including serious damage and conditions that cause permanent
brain injury, impairment, and intellectual disabilities. Fetal stroke is also known
to be one of the greatest risk factors for
cerebral palsy. Due to the serious nature of neonatal strokes, it becomes essential for
families considering a birth injury lawsuit to understand its causes and
whether it could and should have been prevented in their unique case.