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Oxygen Deprivation at Birth: Common Causes & Injuries Parents Should Know

Although labor and delivery are very safe, many things can still go wrong that will impact a child’s development. As experienced medical malpractice attorneys in Miami, we have met with countless parents who were surprised to find out that their child suffered a brain injury at birth—in particular, oxygen deprivation.

Parents should be aware of what symptoms to look for and understand the causes as well. They might have a valid legal claim for a medical error that caused their child’s condition.

Signs of Oxygen Deprivation

When a baby is born, doctors will immediately assess whether the child is suffering from oxygen deprivation by checking vital signs, reflexes, and the color of the skin. If your child has suffered mild or moderate deprivation, then immediate intervention can often result in a complete recovery.

When doctors have been careless, however, they often don’t notice signs of deprivation or do not take timely steps to address the deprivation. As a result, parents will only begin to suspect something is wrong later when they notice:

  • Developmental delays. Many parents don’t suspect something is wrong until they notice their child is not crawling, walking, smiling, or talking at an appropriate age.
  • Difficult temperament. All babies cry from time to time, but a baby suffering from brain injuries might be fussy, refuse nourishment, and have high-pitched wailing.
  • Physical deformities. A baby suffering from oxygen deprivation might have a smaller head or trouble focusing their eyes.

If you suspect something is wrong, visit your doctor immediately.

Causes of Oxygen Deprivation

Babies receive oxygen via the placenta, but mistakes made during delivery can cut off the oxygen supply. Some of the problems include:

  • Compression of the umbilical cord. This will disrupt the flow of oxygen to the baby unless the doctor identifies the compression and takes swift corrective action.
  • Delayed C-section. When a baby is in distress, a C-section can help preserve the baby’s health. But if the doctor delays the C-section, then the baby can suffer oxygen deprivation.
  • Improper resuscitation. If the baby needs to be resuscitated, oxygen deprivation can result if the doctor delays or does the resuscitation poorly.
  • Nuchal cord. The umbilical cord can wrap around the baby’s neck, causing a condition called nuchal cord. Typically, nuchal cords aren’t a problem, but a cord could become knotted, leading to oxygen deprivation.

Regardless of how your baby is injured, the key question is whether a doctor made a critical error that is to blame. If so, then you can bring a case for compensation.

Call Now

Dolan Dobrinsky Rosenblum Bluestein is a leading medical malpractice law firm in Miami. We have helped many families obtain compensation when a medical error causes a child’s brain injury. For more information, please call us today, 305-371-2692. There is no fee to meet with us.