Effects of Loss of Oxygen at Birth

Medical Malpractice Due to Loss of Oxygen at Birth

While no one ever anticipates there to be complications during the labor and delivery of a baby, complications unfortunately occur all too often. While some complications are mild such as bruising or abrasions, more serious complications can lead to permanent injury or even death. One type of complication that often leaves a newborn with disabilities or even death is loss of oxygen. This is often referred to as anoxia or hypoxia and it can lead to serious personal injuries or conditions such as hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy.  If your loved one suffered from the loss of oxygen at birth, call our medical malpractice lawyer in Portland, Oregon for help with your claim.

While not all cases of oxygen loss at birth are preventable, many cases are. This means that many babies who suffer from loss of oxygen at birth and have disabilities or die as a result could have been spared these outcomes. Often times the medical team will either not inform you of the oxygen loss or they may say that it was completely unpreventable. While this may be the case, there is a good chance that it could have been entirely avoided. This is why it is wise to work with a birth injury lawyer who can review your case for FREE to determine if your child’s birth injury could have been avoided. Loss of oxygen at birth can lead to significant disabilities that are costly, and you should never have to pay a dime for the mistake of your medical team who should have delivered your child safely.

What do the Terms Hypoxia and Anoxia Mean?

Hypoxia and anoxia both refer to a loss of oxygen. Hypoxia means a partial loss of oxygen, while anoxia means a total lack of oxygen. While hypoxia is generally less catastrophic than anoxia, prolonged hypoxia can have the same outcome as anoxia. Any loss of oxygen to the brain can result in death of brain cells and tissue, leading to permanent brain damage.

What is a Birth Injury?

NICU injuries medical malpractice Oregon

A birth injury refers to any injury that occurs just before, during labor and delivery, or just after labor and delivery. Some birth injuries are minor, with others being severe or even fatal. Examples of common birth injuries include the following:

  • Hypoxic brain injuries
  • Anoxic brain injuries
  • Bruising
  • Spinal cord injuries
  • Fractures
  • Hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy
  • Facial paralysis
  • Hemorrhage
  • Scarring
  • Swelling
  • Hematoma
  • Kernicterus
  • Erb’s palsy
  • Cerebral palsy
  • Extraction tool injuries
  • Brachial plexus injuries
  • Other birth injuries

Why Do Hypoxia and Anoxia Occur?

As mentioned above, sometimes hypoxia or anoxia are unpreventable. However, often times it is completely preventable if proper care is provided to the mother and baby. The most common causes of a loss of oxygen during labor or delivery include the following:

  • Umbilical cord prolapse
  • Umbilical cord compression
  • Nuchal cord
  • Placental insufficiency
  • Shoulder dystocia
  • Cardiac arrest
  • Trauma from delivery
  • Nuchal cord
  • Rupture of an aneurysm
  • Placental abruption
  • Pre-eclampsia
  • Eclampsia
  • Short cord
  • Low amniotic fluid (oligiohydramnios)
  • Anesthesia errors
  • Prolonged labor
  • Intracranial hemorrhage
  • Premature birth
  • Other causes of loss of oxygen at birth. resulting in brain damage or death

Signs of a Birth Injury Due to Loss of Oxygen at Birth

There are certain signs that can indicate your child suffered from a birth injury due to loss of oxygen. However, it is not always immediately apparent that your child suffered harm due to loss of oxygen or you may not even be aware that your child was deprived of oxygen during labor and delivery or shortly after. Signs and symptoms that you may observe shortly after birth if your child was deprived of oxygen include the following:

  • Cyanosis
  • Apgar score or 3 or less
  • Seizures
  • Absent or irregular breathing
  • Depressed breathing
  • Stained meconium
  • Impaired or absent reflexes
  • Acidosis
  • Low or absent heart rate

How Can Medical Malpractice Cause a Brain Injury?

While mothers want to have trust in the doctors and medical team caring for themselves and their babies, unfortunately even the most experienced physician, midwife, or nurse can make an error resulting in serious injury. While typically no medical professional ever intends to harm you or your baby, birth injuries happen and families should not have to pay costly medical bills, or for any other financial needs they will have for their lifetime as a result of the birth injury. The most common ways in which medical malpractice can cause a brain injury includes the following:

  • Failure to intervene with a c-section when indicated or delay in performing a c-section
  • Attempting a vaginal birth when it is contraindicated (i.e. breech or transverse position in utero)
  • Failure to appropriately respond to fetal distress
  • Inappropriate use or overuse of labor inducing drugs (uterine tachysystole)
  • Failure to stop labor (when able) to prevent a pre-term delivery
  • Failure to recognize the baby is in fetal distress
  • Failure to identify umbilical cord prolapse or rupture
  • Failing to diagnose and treat pre-eclampsia
  • Failing to diagnose and treat eclampsia
  • Failure to appropriately monitor mother and baby
  • Failure to identify and treat respiratory distress at birth
  • Other ways in which medical malpractice can cause your baby’s brain injury

Birth Injuries Due to a Loss of Oxygen at Birth

A loss of oxygen at birth can result in permanent brain damage, leading to many impairments and disabilities. The most common types of birth injuries due to a loss of oxygen at birth include the following:

  • Epilepsy
  • Hypoxic Ischemic Encephalopathy (HIE)
  • Cerebral palsy
  • Developmental disabilities and delays
  • Vision impairment
  • Hearing impairment
  • Sensory processing impairment
  • Fetal stroke
  • Behavioral disorders
  • Mental health disorders
  • Learning disabilities
  • Learning delays
  • Other disabilities and impairments due to a loss of oxygen during labor and delivery or at birth

Damages for Loss of Oxygen at Birth

If your child lost oxygen at birth and it resulted in a birth injury, you may be eligible for damages. Damages are typically monetary in nature and are awarded in the form of compensation. Sometimes, you may be aware that your child suffered loss of oxygen at birth but are uncertain if they suffered any long-term effects from it. It is always wise to speak with a birth injury lawyer. The truth of the matter is that it may take a few years to realize that your child has impairments due to the loss of oxygen. Damages for families whose children suffered injury due to a loss of oxygen at birth include the following:

  • Physical pain and suffering
  • Emotional pain and suffering
  • Medical bills
  • Lost wages and lost future earnings (for the parents)
  • Nursing care
  • Schooling and any specialized therapies
  • Orthotic devices
  • Assistive devices
  • Home modifications
  • Other damages for children who suffered injury as a result of a loss of oxygen at birth

Did Your Loved One Suffer Birth Injuries Due to the Loss of Oxygen at Birth?  Call Our Law Firm For Help

If you or a loved one have been seriously injured or killed as a result of medical malpractice, including oxygen loss at birth for a baby, please contact the Oregon Medical Malpractice Lawyers at Kuhlman Law at our number below or fill out the intake form.  We offer a free initial case evaluation and handle cases on a contingency fee which means that you pay no money unless we recover.

Our law firm handles cases throughout the state including Bend and Portland Oregon, Redmond, Central Oregon, Sisters, Madras, Multnomah County, Deschutes County, Salem, Eugene, Corvallis, Lane County, Medford, Gresham, La Grande, Albany, Medford, Beaverton, Umatilla, Pendleton,  Cottage Grove, Florence, Oregon City, Springfield, Keizer, Grants Pass, McMinnville, Tualatin, West Linn, Forest Grove, Wilsonville, Newberg, Roseburg, Lake Oswego, Klamath Falls, Happy Valley, Tigard, Ashland, Milwakie, Coos Bay, The Dalles,  St. Helens, Sherwood, Central Point, Canby, Troutdale, Hermiston, Silverton, Hood River, Newport, Prineville, Astoria, Tillamook, Lincoln City, Hillsboro, and Vancouver, Washington.

We also have an office in Minneapolis, Minnesota and take medical malpractice cases throughout the Twin Cities, including St. Paul, Hennepin County, Ramsey County, Dakota County, Washington County, Anoka County, Scott County, Blaine, Stillwater, and Saint Paul Minnesota.


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