After spending nine months growing in relative comfort, an infant must travel through the birth canal and into the world. During this process, the baby’s oxygen supply could be compromised in a variety of ways. If the New Mexico medical staff attending to the mother and infant during labor and delivery fails to sufficiently monitor them both and react quickly to any problems, the baby could suffer brain injuries.
The lack of oxygen to the brain is called hypoxia. Any number of situations can cause hypoxia in an infant. For example, the umbilical cord could wrap around the infant’s neck during his or her journey into the world, which means that the baby is essentially being strangled.
A baby must also take its first breath of air as soon after birth as possible to avoid hypoxia. A condition unrelated the birthing process could also cause the condition. In these cases, oxygen deprivation occurs more slowly.
The flow of oxygen needs to be restored to the baby immediately. If medical personnel fail to quickly discover and treat the reason for the lack of oxygen, brain damage can easily occur. This is why fetal monitoring during labor and delivery is essential. A drop in heart rate could signify hypoxia and often requires an emergency C-section to be performed. Delaying could cause brain damage or death.
If the appropriate medical treatment is not given to an infant suffering from hypoxia, it could be considered medical malpractice. The brain injuries could deprive the child of a normal life. New Mexico parents who believe their babies suffered from hypoxia due to a medical mistake should discuss the situation with an attorney.