New Mexico Medical Malpractice Attorneys Curtis & Co.

Can lack of oxygen during birth cause brain injuries?

“Fetal distress” typically refers to a soon-to-be-born child’s inadequate access to oxygen before, throughout and immediately after labor. If you believe your child suffers from a preventable brain injury that occurred during labor or near birth in New Mexico, you may have the basis for a lawsuit.

Doctors use electronic fetal heart rate tracking. It enables medical personnel to check vital signs during labor and tracks contractions. If hypoxia develops, the medical staff can take steps before it becomes asphyxia. This lack of oxygen at birth can result in developmental delays and long-term disabilities. A consequence of incorrect analysis of the FHR monitoring may be delivering the baby via Caesarian when a vaginal delivery would have been most appropriate.

According to the American Pregnancy Association, precursor conditions that indicate fetal distress may be present once labor and delivery procedures begin such as anemia, pregnancy-induced hypertension and intrauterine growth retardation. Failure to track growth, position and development before birth may set fetal distress in motion once labor begins. Cerebral palsy, seizures, ADHD and autism, have been linked to complications during the birthing process. In cases where these conditions are severe, specialized educational programs, occupational therapy, medication and home modification may be needed to care for the child properly.

Brain injuries caused by lack of oxygen at or near birth can have lifelong effects. Medical personnel and hospitals that do not monitor the baby’s condition adequately nor exhibit the skills necessary to respond to this type of situation may be liable for the injuries that result.

This information is provided for educational purposes and should not be interpreted as legal advice.

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