An Atlanta Hypoxia and Birth Asphyxia Injury Attorney Can Help
A law firm you can trust to fight for your child
The human body needs oxygen to live, and no part of the body is more vulnerable to oxygen deprivation than the brain. That’s especially true for a baby’s developing brain. If the baby doesn’t get enough oxygen during labor and delivery, serious and permanent brain damage can occur. Such oxygen-deprivation injuries are known as hypoxia, which refers tissue damage due to lack of oxygen. When this happens, an Atlanta hypoxia injury lawyer at Tyrone Law Firm, PC can help you every step of the way.
The role of hypoxia in birth injury cases
One of the most important things doctors need to do during labor and delivery is monitor the baby’s heart rate. It’s normal for the heart rate to fluctuate somewhat during birth, but it needs to remain between 110-160 beats per minute (bpm). If the heart rate dips below 110, that may be a sign that the baby is in distress and the brain is not getting enough oxygen.
Some reasons hypoxia may occur during birth include:
- Umbilical cord, which carries oxygen to the baby, becomes twisted or pinched.
- Umbilical cord is prolapsed (comes out of the cervix before the baby does).
- Labor is prolonged or difficult.
- Baby’s lungs are not fully developed (common in preterm births).
Hypoxia can lead to birth asphyxia, a medical condition in which the baby’s brain and other organs are not getting enough oxygen. Symptoms of birth asphyxia include:
- No breathing or very weak breathing
- Blue, gray or pale skin
- Low heart rate
- Poor muscle tone
- Weak reflexes
- Overly acidic blood (acidosis)
- Meconium (first bowl movement) in the amniotic fluid
If the baby’s brain is not getting enough oxygen, medical professionals need to take immediate action to prevent permanent damage. This may include inducing or augmenting labor or even performing a C-section. There are also treatments such as head cooling, whole-body cooling and treatment in a hyperbaric oxygen chamber that can prevent or reduce brain damage.
Untreated hypoxia can lead to hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy (HIE), a serious condition that can cause permanent brain damage, including cerebral palsy, epilepsy and other permanent neurological problems.
We hold negligent doctors accountable
Birth is a complex process. No one expects doctors to be perfect. But we do expect doctors to follow standards of care. Monitoring the baby’s heart rate is a basic standard of care during labor and delivery, as is taking action if there are signs of hypoxia. When doctors fail to meet that standard, babies can be born with serious brain damage that can impact them for the rest of their lives.
We can help. We know how to pore over medical records, consult experts and find the evidence that proves a doctor’s negligence caused your child’s hypoxia-related injury. We have a proven track record of results for Georgia families. Our goal is to make sure your child’s needs are met and to demand that his or her long-term care will be paid for by the people or institutions at fault.