Birth Asphyxia

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Birth asphyxia is a condition that occurs when a baby does not receive enough oxygen either during or directly after the birthing process, sometimes leading to death or lifelong disabilities. Decreased oxygen in the newborn's body can result in chemical changes. Hypoxemia is low levels of oxygen in the blood, and acidosis is when too much acid builds up in the blood.

The cause of the asphyxia can result from several errors. Some are unavoidable, while others are situations that are considered faulty medical care. If a mother has low oxygen levels in her blood stream, or if her heart is having difficulty, the baby could have birth asphyxia. Also, some women experience a lower level of respiration when they are given anesthesia, such as an epidural, and this can cause the baby to not receive enough oxygen. Mothers whose blood pressure suddenly or gradually drops while pregnant or while giving birth are candidates for having a baby with birth asphyxia.

Other reasons for birth asphyxia include uteruses that do not relax during labor. If the placenta detaches from the uterus, the baby will have its oxygen supply cut off. This condition is known as placental abruption. If the umbilical cord becomes pinched or obstructed during pregnancy, the baby may have birth asphyxia.

After the baby is born, birth asphyxia can still occur. Most often this is due to a difficult pregnancy. If the baby is anemic or has another blood disorder at birth, the blood will not carry enough oxygen, potentially leading to birth asphyxia. Also, blood pressure or respiratory issues can cause the condition.

If a baby is suffering from birth asphyxia, its heart rate and blood pressure will be lower than normal. Lack of oxygen can cause damage to the brain. If the condition is left untreated, the baby could suffer from severe brain damage and even death.

For a baby to survive a battle with birth asphyxia without severe difficulties, he needs to be treated as soon as the condition or its risk factors are noticed. If the baby is still in utero, the mother will be given oxygen. This can continue through the delivery. If the baby appears to continue to have problems, an emergency cesarean section might be performed. If the baby is already born, the doctor will ventilate the baby. Also, medications are administered to regulate blood pressure and heart rate.

Birth asphyxia can cause cerebral palsy and several other mental diseases and disorders. Parents whose baby is diagnosed with a condition caused by birth asphyxia are often at a loss as to what they should do about it. The first thing they need to do is seek the appropriate medical treatment for the conditions their baby has. This is crucial, because the longer these conditions go without treatment, the more difficult life will be for the baby.

After seeking medical treatment, talk with a lawyer. A lawyer will help you determine whether or not your child's case of birth asphyxia was caused by malpractice or unavoidable medical circumstances. The lawyer will be able to look at the medical facts and help you determine whether or not the doctor did everything in his or her power to keep the problem from occurring. If there was more that should have been done to help the baby and the mother, then the doctor could be held liable for the injury. Also, this help should be sought as soon as possible, because many states have laws that limit the amount of time between birth and when a suit can be settled. If parents wait too long to seek legal help, they may jeopardize their chances at receiving the funds to which they are entitled.


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