Birth asphyxia, also known as perinatal asphyxia, is a type of birth injury that occurs when a baby is deprived of oxygen before, during, or immediately after delivery. It is a potentially devastating condition that requires immediate and appropriate treatment. Depending on the circumstances, birth asphyxia can cause brain damage, lifelong disability, and even wrongful death.
If your child experienced birth asphyxia and sustained a permanent injury as a result, you may be entitled to compensation. Contact skilled and compassionate birth injury attorney Stephen Brzezinski today to discuss your case. SRB Hawaii Law proudly serves clients in Honolulu and the surrounding areas of Hawaii.
Common Causes of Birth Asphyxia
Numerous factors can lead to birth asphyxia. Some of the most common causes of this condition include:
- Insufficient oxygen levels in the mother’s blood
- Abnormal blood pressure in the mother
- Umbilical cord complications
- Placenta abruption
- Nuchal cord
- Lengthy or difficult labor
- Shoulder dystocia
- Fetal anemia
- Anesthesia errors
- Delayed C-section
- Blockage or defect in the baby’s airway
Medical professionals must take appropriate measures to identify and address known birth asphyxia risk factors. Similarly, if oxygen deprivation occurs, they must be prepared to administer proper care in a timely manner.
Early Signs and Symptoms of Birth Asphyxia
The symptoms of birth asphyxia can vary from one baby to another, depending on the situation. However, there are several common warning signs.
Before delivery, a baby experiencing birth asphyxia may have an abnormal heart rate or an elevated acid level in their blood. At birth, they may display symptoms such as:
- Pale or bluish skin color
- Low heart rate
- Weak cry
- Weak muscle tone or poor reflexes
- Gasping or weak breathing
- Respiratory distress
Several different tests can detect birth asphyxia. A prompt diagnosis plays an important role in minimizing the harmful impact of oxygen deprivation. Without one, a baby’s chance of suffering significant injuries increases dramatically.
Complications of Birth Asphyxia
The complications of birth asphyxia vary. Some babies recover fully, while others experience lasting harm. In many cases, the impact of oxygen deprivation isn’t fully known until a child is several years old.
In general, the extent of the damage caused by perinatal asphyxia depends on three things: how long the baby lacked adequate oxygen, the severity of the oxygen deprivation, and how quickly and effectively the proper treatment was administered.
Without enough oxygen, a baby may experience short- and long-term complications, such as:
When is Medical Negligence to Blame for Birth Asphyxia?
Some birth injuries are unavoidable, even with the appropriate level of care. Others are directly caused or exacerbated by the mistakes of an obstetrician or other medical provider.
The first step of a birth asphyxia case is establishing negligence. Mr. Brzezinski will meticulously investigate the circumstances surrounding your child’s birth to determine if any attending medical professionals failed to recognize or respond to this condition.
Some examples of negligence include:
- Failure to identify and address risk factors or complications
- Failure to perform a timely C-section when necessary
- Failure to monitor fetal vital signs
- Failure to identify or respond to signs of fetal distress
- Failure to treat birth asphyxia in a timely and appropriate manner
- Improper use of medical interventions during a prolonged delivery
Potential Compensation Available in Birth Asphyxia Cases
Most severe injuries or impairments caused by perinatal asphyxia have a life-long impact. In addition to the care they currently require, your baby will likely need consistent medical treatment and rehabilitation. This can place a significant emotional and financial burden on your family.
A successful birth asphyxia case can help you obtain compensation for all current and future damages related to your child’s injury, including but not limited to:
- Ongoing medical needs and therapies
- Special equipment or modifications to assist with independent living
- In-home or specialized facility care
- Lost wages in the case of a parent who stays home to care for the child
- Non-monetary damages such as loss of enjoyment of life or pain and suffering
SRB Hawaii Law proudly provides ER (Early Resolution) services to our clients. ER is designed to give you the compensation you deserve at a lower attorney fee. Because no amount of money can make this situation right, Mr. Brzezinski also works with the negligent parties to help them learn from their mistakes. He does this so that what happened to your child doesn’t happen again.
Contact SRB Hawaii Law to Discuss Your Case
It’s time to make things right. When faced with healthcare mistakes or negligence that cause harm, birth injury attorney Stephen Brzezinski fights for accountability and change. Contact him today if your child suffered from birth asphyxia and subsequent injuries. SRB Hawaii Law proudly serves Honolulu and the surrounding communities.