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What should parents know about hypoxic and ischemic birth injuries?

by | Jun 8, 2021 | Birth Injuries, Brain Injuries, Hospital Errors, Medical Malpractice

When parents welcome a child into their family, they trust their doctors to provide that child with the best possible start. However, if doctors are negligent during labor and delivery, it can leave children with lifelong medical challenges.

What are hypoxic and ischemic birth injuries?

Hypoxia is a lack of oxygen in the bloodstream, and ischemia is a lack of blood flow to the brain. These conditions can both cause a lack of oxygen to a child’s brain, damaging brain tissue.  This can lead to cognitive problems, cerebral palsy and hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy. Oxygen deprivation can also be fatal for a child.

What can cause hypoxic and ischemic birth injuries?

In delivery, a doctor’s actions matter. If doctors fail to identify concerns and intervene, delay treatment or use tools or medication that put patients at risk, those decisions can lead to hypoxic and ischemic injuries. Some of the many causes include:

  • Failure to recognize and respond to fetal distress or concerning fetal heart rate
  • Delaying a cesarean delivery
  • Improper use of Pitocin, leading to overstimulation, fetal distress or infection
  • Improper use of forceps or vacuum during delivery
  • Failure to intervene in prolonged labor or when mothers experience issues with contractions
  • Failure to treat the child to restore proper oxygen flow and limit damage

What can parents do?

If your family has suffered as the result of medical negligence, you and your child do not need to face these challenges alone. Contacting an attorney can help you explore your options, hold negligent medical professionals responsible and get the support you need to help your family heal.