Birth asphyxia is defined as a condition where an infant doesn’t receive proper oxygen flow to the brain. This can lead to very harmful injuries for the baby. Here are some things that you should know about birth asphyxia.
Causes and Symptoms
Birth asphyxia happens when oxygen is restricted from a newborn’s brain. This can be caused during birth when the umbilical cord is pinched, which is usually the fault of the doctor. Other ways that medical negligence can cause birth asphyxia is through a delayed delivery, such as a delayed C-section, or an error in administering medication. Spotting the symptoms in a timely manner is one of the first steps it treating birth asphyxia. Some common symptoms include skin discoloration, low heart rate, weak reflexes, and the baby showing signs of struggling to breathe or not breathing at all.
Testing & Treatment
Aside from recognizing the symptoms, the best way to catch birth asphyxia as early as possible is by conducting one or more medical tests. A doctor can use an MRI or EEG to look at your child’s brain as well as a CT scan, or a SPECT test which will more specifically monitor the blood flow in their brain for signs of oxygen deprivation. Depending on how serious their condition is, your doctor should know the next step to treat it. The two main forms of oxygen deprivation are hypoxia and anoxia, hypoxia being a partial lack of oxygen, while anoxia is total oxygen deprivation.
The risk of injury from birth asphyxia is very high. A newborn child who is deprived of oxygen for an extended length of time could suffer from brain damage, which could give them Cerebral Palsy, a lifelong condition. Birth asphyxia can also cause death if it is left untreated. If you experienced the tragedy of losing an infant during or shortly after birth, then you have the right to know whether birth asphyxia was a factor.
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