During the labor and delivery, a newborn can develop a condition called hypoxia. A child with hypoxia is, for some reason, not receiving enough oxygen to the brain.
When it comes to delivery complications, hypoxia is fairly common. If doctors identify it and treat it quickly, the baby will likely make a full recovery.
However, left untreated for more than just a few minutes, hypoxia can cause serious brain damage. Assuming the baby survives at all, hypoxia can leave a child suffering from cerebral palsy or other serious cognitive and physical problems. These complications can require that a child have ongoing rehabilitative and medical care.
A number of underlying medical problems can cause hypoxia. For instance, the mom could have an infection or some issue with her umbilical cord. Cord prolapse, when the cord comes through the birth canal before or at the same time as the newborn, is one such issue.
In other cases, mechanical problems with the childbirth can cause hypoxia. For example, shoulder dystocia, where the child shoulder gets wedged behind the mom’s bone, can cause the child to get stuck and thus not be able to draw air when the child needs it.
While not always able to prevent them, doctors and other medical professionals who help with childbirth are trained how to spot complications that could lead to hypoxia.
If problems emerge during labor and delivery, those professionals should take steps to protect both the mother and baby’s well-being. This could include performing an emergency C-Section.
Sometimes, though, doctors are just not paying enough attention to their patients to notice complications before it is too late. In other case, inexperience, miscommunication or errors in judgment can lead to tragic results.
When this happens, a Pennsylvania family may be able to recover for their losses due to birth injuries.