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Birth asphyxia may lead to long-term complications

On Behalf of | Oct 17, 2021 | Birth Injuries, blog

Most mothers who prepare to give birth in Kentucky or Ohio share a similar goal: to deliver and go home with a healthy baby. However, sometimes, medical errors and other factors cause harm to mothers and babies. Birth asphyxia is a condition that may result when an infant fails to receive adequate levels of oxygen before, during or after childbirth.

Sometimes called perinatal asphyxia or neonatal asphyxia, this condition warrants immediate treatment. Otherwise, it may prove life-threatening. Even if an infant survives, he or she may experience a wide range of long-term complications.

Causes of birth asphyxia

Sometimes, a mother’s high or low blood pressure contributes to instances of birth asphyxia. The condition is also more common when a doctor delivers a baby prematurely. It may also result from a uterine rupture or the placenta separating from the uterus. The baby inhaling a combination of amniotic fluid and meconium, which is the baby’s first bowel movement, may also cause this condition.

Birth asphyxia may also occur if the mother develops an infection during labor, or if the mother’s labor and delivery is especially difficult or prolonged.

Complications associated with birth asphyxia

Neonatal asphyxia has the potential to lead to serious, life-threatening complications. Research suggests a link between the condition and a child being hyperactive. The condition may, too, lead to attention deficits, schizophrenia or psychotic disorders.  Cerebral palsy, epilepsy and intellectual disabilities are among other serious, long-term complications linked to birth asphyxia.

There are certain steps hospitals and doctors might take to lower the likelihood of birth asphyxia. These steps include properly monitoring the mother during childbirth, ensuring they have the proper equipment available and treating the condition promptly to reduce its effects.

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