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What Is Birth Asphyxia?

The Becker Law Firm, LPA

Birth asphyxia, also known as asphyxia neonatorum, happens when a baby does not receive enough oxygen. This birth injury condition – which causes problems with the child’s respiratory system – can develop as the result of something that occurs before, during or after the child is born.

Birth asphyxia is caused by several factors: Before a baby is born, the condition can be caused when the mother suffers from low blood pressure or when a decrease in blood flow through the umbilical cord occurs. During labor, birth asphyxia can occur when anesthesia causes the mother to receive an inadequate amount of oxygen or from placental abruption – which is when the placenta separates from the uterus earlier than it should.
Diagnosis and Symptoms

Birth asphyxia can be diagnosed by testing the acid level of the umbilical cord or from conducting an Apgar test, which is designed to measure a child’s reflexes, muscle tone, heartbeat and respiration. Doctors may also notice symptoms, such as blush skin color and a weak cry, after the baby is born.

Treatments for birth asphyxia include administering medication, delivering more oxygen to the mother before delivery and performing a Caesarean section. The treatment regimen is determined by the child’s age and general health, as well as how severe the condition is.
Suing for Damages

If you feel that your child’s birth asphyxia was caused by medical malpractice, you should consult a lawyer to determine if you have a case against your doctor. In order to win a lawsuit, you must be able to prove that a medical professional did not provide adequate care and that you have suffered damages as a result of the injury.


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