Hypoxia is a type of birth injury that commonly occurs in Pennsylvania and around the country. It can happen at any point during labor and delivery, and it must be quickly treated in order to prevent permanent damage.
When a baby suffers hypoxia during childbirth, it isn’t receiving adequate oxygen to its brain. If the problem is caught in time, the baby could make a full recovery. However, if it is left untreated for too long, the lack of oxygen could cause brain damage and permanent medical disorders, including cerebral palsy, hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy and cognitive deficiencies. Some of the conditions known to increase the risk of hypoxia include infection, umbilical cord injuries, congenital heart disease, placental insufficiency, placental abruption, umbilical cord prolapse, cardiovascular collapse, shoulder dystocia, oxygen deprivation and brain blood vessel abnormalities.
Over the last 15 years, there have been significant improvements to the way hypoxia is treated. First, medical professionals resuscitate the baby and work to restore oxygen flow. After that, there are several treatment options available, including hypo- or hyperthermia management, fluid control, ventilation and cooling therapy. In fact, treatments have become so advanced that most cases of hypoxia are attributed to doctors or other members of the medical staff failing to diagnose the condition and begin treatment in time.
Hypoxia injuries can lead to a lifetime of medical issues for the affected baby, including permanent brain damage. Parents of an injured baby may have grounds to file a medical malpractice lawsuit against the responsible doctor and the hospital if it can be demonstrated that medical negligence was the reason for the harm, such as a failure to properly treat the injury in a timely fashion.