Perinatal hypoxia refers to hypoxia in an infant during pregnancy or immediately after birth. There are several different causes of hypoxia - most of which are preventable or treatable if they are identified and addressed early enough.
An Anemic Mother
Anemia is a condition characterized by low red blood cell counts or dysfunctional red blood cells. This condition reduces oxygen flow to the internal organs. In pregnant women, this red blood cell deficiency may lead to insufficient transfers of oxygenated red blood cells, which could cause hypoxia.
A Mother Who Smokes
Mothers who smoke during pregnancy seriously jeopardize the livelihood of their developing child. Carbon monoxide from cigarette smoke may induce tissue hypoxia and cause placental insufficiency - a term for inadequate blood flow between the uterus and the placenta. This blood flow is necessary for supplying oxygenated blood to the fetus.
This occurs when the placenta separates from the uterus before birth. Developing infants depend on the placenta for nutrients and oxygenated blood. This can happen in varying degrees of severity:
- Mild cases result in little to no damage to the mother or the child.
- Moderate cases cause fetal distress and maternal bleeding.
- Severe cases can lead to fetal death, maternal shock, and occasionally maternal death.
If moderate or severe cases are not quickly treated, the infant could suffer from severe oxygen deprivation and subsequent injuries.
Failure to Diagnose Fetal Health Problems
It's your doctor's responsibility to consistently monitor the health of your developing child. If a health issue which causes hypoxia is identified quickly, there is a much better chance of correcting the problem with minimal damage. Failure to do so usually constitutes negligence, and parents in this scenario should consider filing a medical malpractice lawsuit.
Blood Pressure Issues
Abnormal maternal blood pressure poses a problem for the developing child. Abnormally high and low levels can both be damaging. Unhealthy blood pressure levels may result in an inability to deliver adequate oxygen levels to the baby.
Serious infections can also limit the amount of oxygen that gets transferred to the fetus.
Civil Recourse For Malpractice Victims
These injuries affect the entire family in various ways. If you have a solid case, you will be eligible to seek compensation for the following damages:
Raising a child with a severe brain injury requires a lifetime of steep medical bills, including doctor's visits, physical therapy, surgeries, medication, and more. Victimized families should not be required to deal with this stress - the negligent healthcare professional at fault should.
Lost wages and earning potential
Caring for a disabled child isn't just expensive, it's time-consuming too. Dedicated parents may miss long periods of work in favor of care-taking responsibilities. This can lead to significant lost wages and the possibility of losing a job entirely.
Loss of quality of life
Families affected by malpractice may have to adjust their entire lifestyle as a result. They may be unable to participate in fun activities or take long vacations which they previously enjoyed.
Pain and suffering
Damages for pain and suffering account for the less tangible consequences of malpractice. While there are plenty of happy times spent with disabled kids, there are also significant periods of stress, pain, and suffering which affect both the child and his or her family.
If your child is suffering from any of these birth injuries, we can only imagine the pain you're feeling. While attending to your child's needs takes precedence, we think it's crucial to hold negligible parties responsible for the pain they've caused. The experienced birth injury lawyers at Monheit Law are prepared to fight for your family's rights following a preventable birth injury.