Hypoxic Baby

locations of brain injuries to children from birth injuries in oregon portland brain injury lawyer

Learn About a Hypoxic Baby and the Injuries That Can Be Caused from Our Birth Injury Lawyer Portland, OR

The birth of a child is one of the most important (if not the most important) moment in a parent’s life. It is the moment that they meet their baby for the first time. Most mothers and fathers except to be delivering a health baby, unless there is a known birth defect that was detected prenatally. When complications arise before, during or after delivery, this can lead to birth injuries. One type of birth injury is known as a hypoxic brain injury. A baby suffering from this injury may be caused a hypoxic baby.  This type of injury can be devastating for the newborn and family. While some cases of hypoxic birth injuries are unpreventable, sometimes instances of hypoxic brain injury occur as the result of medical malpractice.  Our birth injury lawyer in Portland, OR can help.

This is because a hypoxic baby may need serious medical care and treatment.  In fact, babies born with this condition may be seriously injured and suffer from catastrophic damages that require a lifetime of help.  Yes, a lifetime of help.  This can cause significant damages that are permanent and costly for an entire family.  Learn more our how birth injury injury in Portland, OR can help you.

What are Birth Injuries?

Birth injuries are injuries that occur shortly before, during labor and delivery or shortly after. While some birth injuries may be minor, other injuries may be much more severe and permanent. Examples of birth injuries include the following:

  • Facial paralysis
  • Brachial palsy
  • Cerebral palsy
  • Brain damage
  • Erb’s palsy
  • Hematoma
  • Kernicterus
  • Spinal cord injuries
  • Hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy
  • Injury from extraction tools
  • Hypoxic brain injury
  • Anoxic brain injury
  • Fractures
  • Scarring
  • Bruising and swelling
  • Hemorrhage

What is a Hypoxic Brain Injury?

Hypoxic brain injuries occur when there is a lack of oxygen to the baby before, during or after delivery. The lack of oxygen can lead to brain damage as well as damage to other vital organs. While an infant with mild loss of oxygen may fully recover, an infant who went without oxygen for a prolonged period of time will likely suffer to some degree with cognitive and physical deficits as a result of the loss of oxygen. 

What Types of Birth Injuries Can Be Due to Hypoxia?

Generally speaking, hypoxia causes brain damage. When a baby goes for a prolonged period of time without oxygen, this can lead to permanent disabilities, including some of the following:

  • Hypoxic Ischemic Encephalopathy or HIE – This is a severe type of brain damage that occurs during labor and delivery. 
  • Cerebral Palsy
  • Epilepsy
  • Vision impairment
  • Hearing impairment
  • Speech delay or impairment
  • Fetal stroke
  • Developmental disabilities
  • Learning disabilities and delays
  • Sensory processing impairment
  • Behavioral disorders
  • Mental health issues

What are Signs That an Oxygen-Deprivation Injury May Have Occurred? 

While there may be instances in which a deprivation of oxygen causing brain damage may not be immediately apparent at birth, there are certain signs and symptoms that can indicate that this type of brain injury has occurred. Examples of these signs and symptoms of a hypoxic baby include the following:

  • Low Apgar score (less than 3)
  • Seizures
  • Low or absent heart rate
  • Irregular breathing
  • Absent breathing
  • Depressed breathing
  • Stained meconium
  • Diminished or absent reflexes
  • Blue skin color (Cyanosis)
  • Acidosis

What Complications Can Cause Brain Injury at Birth?

There are numerous conditions that can cause neonatal brain injury. Examples of these include the following:

  • Preeclampsia
  • Eclampsia
  • Placenta previa
  • Nuchal cord
  • Umbilical cord prolapse
  • True knot
  • Short cord
  • Low amniotic fluid (oligiohydramnios)
  • Anesthesia errors
  • Premature rupture of the membranes
  • Premature birth
  • Fetal distress without intervention
  • Prolonged labor
  • Uterine tachysystole (overstimulation of uterus caused by use of Pitocin or other labor inducing drugs)
  • Intracranial hemorrhage
  • Placental abruption
  • Trauma during delivery
  • Cardiac arrest
  • Uterine rupture
  • Placental insufficiency

These are just a few of the many conditions that can cause neonatal brain injury.

How Can Hypoxic Baby and the Damages be Caused by Medical Malpractice?

There are numerous ways in which hypoxic brain injuries can be caused by medical malpractice. Examples of these include the following:

  • Waiting too long to perform a c-section when it is indicated
  • Opting for a vaginal birth when a c-section is indicated even prior to labor and delivery (i.e. if maternal pelvis is too small)
  • Failing to monitor and intervene in circumstances of fetal distress
  • Improper monitoring of contraction rhythm strips. With too many decelarations (occur during contractions), this can lead to inadequate oxygen flow to the infant, causing brain damage. 
  • Failure to identify signs of respiratory distress at birth, leading to brain injury
  • Failing to identify and intervene in regard to problems with the umbilical cord (i.e. umbilical cord prolapse or rupture)
  • Improper monitoring of the mother’s vital signs (i.e. blood pressure, heart rate, oxygen, temperature, blood sugar) and overall health status 
  • Improper use or overuse of labor-inducing drugs
  • Failing to recognize signs of preeclampsia
  • Failing to recognize signs of eclampsia

Who Can Be Responsible for Your Hypoxic Baby?

While there are times when a brain injury is at the fault of no one, sadly there are instances in which a newborn suffers due to a healthcare provider’s error. This should never occur. Examples in regard to who can be responsible for your child’s birth injury includes the following

  • Physicians – Physicians are responsible for overseeing care. It is their responsibility to create a plan of care for the mother and baby, including a safe delivery. It is a physician who decides if a c-section is indicated prenatally or during labor. Physicians are responsible for intervening in times of fetal or maternal distress. When a physician fails to do any of these things correctly, this can lead to newborn hypoxic brain injury. 
  • Nurses – Nurses spend a great deal of time with the mother and are responsible for monitoring the mother and infant during labor and delivery. It is their responsibility to monitor contraction rhythm strips for signs of fetal distress as well as monitoring the mother’s vital signs and overall health during the delivery. Failing to do any of these things correctly can result in hypoxic brain injury, especially failing to note signs of fetal distress. This is because if a newborn is showing signs of fetal distress during labor and delivery, intervention can occur. If those warning signs go unnoticed, this allows the distress to progress and can lead to birth injuries to the brain such as those that can result in a hypoxic baby. 

Ask Our Medical Malpractice Lawyer in Portland, OR for Help with a Hypoxic Baby

If you or a loved one have been seriously injured or killed as a result of medical malpractice 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.

For a free case evaluation


(541) 385-1999 in Bend, Oregon
(503) 479-3646 in Portland, Oregon
(612) 444-3374 in Minnesota

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