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Hypoxia: Why It Happens And The Damage It Causes

On Behalf of | May 2, 2022 | Medical Malpractice |

Hypoxia is a serious medical emergency that can occur in the womb, during labor or after birth. It occurs when the baby does not receive an adequate amount of oxygen to the brain, which can lead to brain injuries.

While minor hypoxia may be able to be treated with oxygen and minimize the risk of long-term damage, improper treatment may lead to permanent brain disorders or health issues such as:

  • Hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy
  • Cerebral palsy
  • Cognitive deficiencies

Fortunately, many cases of hypoxia don’t lead to permanent damage, but it is something that you should be aware of as a parent.

The common causes of hypoxia

There are many possible causes of hypoxia. Some of the most common include:

  • Placental insufficiency, which is when not enough blood reaches the placenta and a lack of growth occurs
  • Placental abruption, which occurs when the placenta separates from the uterus
  • Oxygen deprivation, such as if the mother has issues with breathing or is hypoxic herself
  • Cardiovascular collapse of the mother or child
  • Infections

If any of these medical issues occur, there is a risk that your child could suffer a brain injury. If they are born and hypoxia is suspected, it’s essential for the medical team to take immediate action to provide supportive oxygen, focus on fluid management, cooling therapy or other treatment options to help manage your child’s condition.

If hypoxia goes untreated, there is a risk that it could lead to permanent brain injuries. Cognitive issues may occur because of hypoxia, or your child may require long-term therapy or medications.

What can you do if you hypoxia was mistreated?

If you believe that your child’s case was handled inappropriately, it’s important to gather details about their injuries and the steps that were taken to help them. If a medical provider made mistakes that led to hypoxia or did not treat hypoxia appropriately, then you may be able to make a claim for the injuries that resulted from those actions. It’s helpful to learn more about your legal options to determine if medical malpractice may have occurred to support your opportunity to make a claim.