The most serious types of birth injuries can cause permanent damage to a newborn.
For example, if the newborn suffers birth asphyxia, the newborn could die during or shortly after birth. Birth asphyxia also can cause severe physical and intellectual disabilities for which there are no cures.
Birth asphyxia describes the condition that arises when a baby is not getting enough oxygen right before or during childbirth.
As with anyone else, if a newborn goes without oxygen for more than a few minutes, they start to suffer damage to their brain and other organs. Moreover, once normal oxygen resumes, the damaged cells will release toxic chemicals that cause further injury.
The severity of the injury will depend on a number of circumstances. For example, asphyxia starts once a child is not getting adequate oxygen. However, a child who is getting some oxygen instead of no oxygen has a better chance at recovery.
Also, the quicker the condition gets spotted and treated, the better the chances that the infant will have of a full recovery.
Too often, medical malpractice plays a role in birth asphyxia
Birth asphyxia can happen for a number of reasons. Sadly, some of the circumstances that lead to birth asphyxia are hard to spot and harder to prevent. Doctors and parents can only do their best in these situations.
However, too many times, asphyxia is a preventable birth injury. Doctors have an obligation to know the possible risk factors for this condition and to respond. They also must monitor the childbirth process and promptly and accurately diagnose any problems.
Likewise, parents count on their doctors to move quickly if their child is suffering from oxygen deprivation since the stakes are so high. A delay in treatment or a mistake could mean the difference between a child born healthy and a child born with serious and permeant disabilities.
If a doctor’s negligence has a role in an injury from birth asphyxia, New York and Pennsylvania parents may be able to pursue legal options.