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Brain Injuries and Oxygen Deprivation During Delivery

by onSeptember 02, 2018

The human brain needs oxygen to survive. After several minutes without oxygen, brain cells can die. If oxygen is not quickly restored, the victim can also die.

During a difficult childbirth, your child might be deprived of oxygen. Even if your baby survives, he or she could suffer an anoxic or hypoxic brain injury, which can lead to complications down the road. To consider your legal options, contact a Toledo birth injury attorney.

Medical Errors that Lead to Oxygen Deprivation

Sometimes, labor and delivery are arduous on both the mother and the baby. Many different things can go wrong, any one of which can lead to oxygen deprivation. Fortunately, many doctors will spot a problem and take the necessary steps to restore the oxygen flow to your baby. In other cases, unfortunately, a doctor makes a medical error, such as:

  • Failing to correct a prolapsed umbilical cord. The cord carries oxygen to your baby until he or she can breathe on his or her own. If the cord gets kinked or compressed, blood flow is disrupted, and your baby will not get oxygen. A competent doctor can often identify a prolapsed umbilical cord and order a C-section to deliver the baby. A prolapsed umbilical cord is not very common, occurring in about 10% of deliveries, though it is very serious.
  • Failing to respond to fetal distress. During labor, your baby might start to exhibit signs of distress. A competent doctor should identify the distress and take steps to counteract it. If not, your doctor might be negligent.
  • Failing to treat a baby showing signs of brain injury. Medical advances have offered up novel treatments for newborns deprived of oxygen. For example, your doctor might lower your baby’s temperature for several days, which can ward off brain injury. If your doctor does not take appropriate treatment, then he or she might be negligent.

Every situation is different, and only an experienced medical malpractice attorney in Toledo can review the circumstances and identify if you have a valid legal claim.

Long-Term Complications

Because of oxygen deprivation, many children experience developmental delays or other problems. For example, your child might experience:

  • Impaired speech
  • Spastic limbs or weakness in extremities
  • Learning disabilities
  • Attention deficit disorder
  • Emotional outbursts or other disruptive behavior
  • Memory problems
  • Impaired mental processing

Families do have treatment options. For example, your child can take medication to manage emotional problems. Physical and occupational therapy can help your child learn everyday tasks and increase mobility. The amount of improvement varies, but many children will need lifetime help managing the symptoms of their brain injury.

Hold Doctors Accountable. Reach out to a Toledo Birth Injury Attorney Today

Sometimes birth injuries are unavoidable. However, when a doctor makes a mistake during delivery, then you might be entitled to financial compensation. At Lafferty, Gallagher & Scott, our medical malpractice attorneys in Toledo understand how to build a case against a doctor for errors made in the delivery room. To set up a free consultation with one of our lawyers, please reach out to us today.

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