Birth asphyxia is a dangerous medical condition when a baby’s brain is deprived of oxygen during labor, delivery, and/or immediately after birth. Without sufficient oxygen, an infant’s brain will suffer severe damage and potentially long-term, devastating consequences. Even the babies who recover from asphyxia are still at higher risk of developmental delays and other health complications.
As explained below, while birth asphyxia can happen for several reasons, unfortunately, it is sometimes a result of medical malpractice. At the Law Offices of Cardaro & Peek, we have the knowledge, skill, and resources necessary to determine the cause of a child’s birth injury. We will pursue the justice and compensation you and your loved one deserve.
If you live in Maryland or Washington, D.C. and have suffered any type of injury, or if a loved one has been harmed due to medical malpractice, call our dedicated group of lawyers for help today to learn what we can do to help you and your family. Our compassionate and experienced attorneys and professional staff are here to help and offer FREE consultations and case evaluations.
Causes of Birth Asphyxia
The term “asphyxia” is used when a person’s body is not getting enough oxygen. For example, a common situation in which asphyxia arises is choking on a piece of food. Because oxygen that you breathe in is carried into your blood via the lungs, the lack of sufficient oxygen disrupts blood flow to the brain. Of course, when asphyxia happens to a child during the birthing process, it is not as obvious and can have severe consequences.
Oxygen deprivation can happen at any point in the birthing process. Symptoms of birth asphyxia can include abnormal fetal heart rate, strained breathing, and poor skin color.
Some common causes of birth asphyxia include:
- Nuchal cord: A dangerous situation when the umbilical cord wraps around a fetus’ neck.
- Placental abruption: Occurs when the placenta prematurely separates from the uterine wall.
- Placenta previa: When the placenta partially or completely covers the cervix.
- Low amniotic fluid: Amniotic fluid promotes the fetus’ growth, temperature, nutrition intake, and lung development. Low levels of fluid can cause a severe health risk.
- Shoulder dystocia: A critical emergency where one or both of the baby’s shoulders gets stuck under the mother’s pubic bone.
- Anesthesia errors: These errors can deprive the baby of oxygen-rich blood.
- Delayed C-section: When the fetus is distressed, emergency C-sections significantly reduce the risk of permanent harm. However, if a medical professional fails to perform the C-section in time, it can lead to more severe issues.
Long-Term Complications of Birth Asphyxia
A lack of adequate oxygen flow during the birthing process can cause long-term consequences for the child. Some complications of this birth injury include:
- Cerebral palsy
- Developmental delays
- Speech delays
- Learning disabilities
- Hearing and visual impairments
- Behavioral issues
- Feeding complications
- Orthopedic issues
Filing a Birth Injury Lawsuit
Many babies never fully recover after suffering birth asphyxia. They may suffer from learning disabilities, motor coordination, and other developmental delays. As a parent or other loved one, dealing with the consequences of birth asphyxia can be difficult. At Cardaro & Peek, our birth injury lawyers want to take some stress off your shoulders. We will gather evidence, discuss your case with medical experts, and hold any negligent doctors, nurses, medical professionals, and institutions accountable for the damage they caused. Depending on the severity of your child’s injuries, it may take significant money to cover the medical expenses and long-term care that the child requires. In the case of a birth injury, economic damages can include:
- Disability therapy and treatment
- Medical expenses for the parent
- Lost wages of the parents
- Legal fees
- Future lost wages of both the child and the parents
- Nursing care costs
- Wrongful death expenses
- Medical bills, both future and past for the child
- Vocational or rehabilitation training and treatment
- Pain and suffering
- Punitive damages, and
- Other damages due to the medical malpractice of a healthcare provider.
Contact The Law Offices of Cardaro & Peek, LLC Today
The lawyers at Cardaro & Peek, LLC have the experience and resources necessary to investigate and litigate all types of medical claims throughout Maryland and Washington, D.C. Cardaro & Peek, LLC has medical personnel on staff and has access to nationally recognized, board-certified physicians and other experts, to assist in the investigation, analysis, and litigation of all types of medical malpractice claims. If you or a loved one have experienced malpractice, give us a call at 410-752-6166. Please visit our website www.cardarolaw.com and follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn for more information.