What is hypoxia, and can it be dangerous to your baby during labor and delivery? In my experience, when parents deal with hypoxia during delivery, this is the first time they have had to deal with this medical condition. The truth of the matter is that hypoxia can be a serious medical condition that can not only lead to a brain injury, but death if the condition is not eventually resolved.
In this birth injury article, I will talk about hypoxia from a medical legal prospective. Also, we will cover what leads some parents to reach out for an investigation into what may have occurred during labor and delivery which caused their baby’s birth injury, namely a brain injury.
WHAT IS HYPOXIA?
Hypoxia in the context of this discussion is a reduced level of oxygen. During labor and delivery, a reduced level of oxygen can be caused by a host of things. For example, if the umbilical cord is restricted in any way, this can cut off blood and oxygen to the baby. Hemorrhaging problems on the part of the mother can also adversely impact blood and oxygen levels in the baby.
When hypoxia is present there is a risk for the baby to develop another condition called hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy, or HIE. HIE is a reduced level of blood and oxygen which can lead to a brain injury. Children who suffer from HIE can sometimes have a subsequent cerebral palsy diagnosis if the HIE injury is severe enough. For some children however, an HIE diagnosis can be on the mild side of things, depending on the injury, and might not lead to a severe injury. With that said, it is always better to do everything possible to prevent an HIE injury.
HOW CAN DOCTORS DETECT POSSIBLE HYPOXIA DURING LABOR AND DELIVERY?
Doctors and nurses are not completely in the dark when it comes to fetal well-being during labor. The electronic fetal heart monitor helps doctors and nurses gauge fetal well-being. At the start of labor and delivery, mom will have a device attached to her stomach. This device is one of the ways doctors and nurses can see how well your baby is progressing during delivery.
Problems can arise when the monitor shows that there are problems with the baby and little to nothing is done to help alleviate the issues. For example, doctors and nurse can try conservative treatments when issues first arise. If these conservative methods do not produce results, then fetal distress can get to a point to hypoxic injury. This can be the case because a lack of blood and oxygen can be the underlying cause of fetal distress in some cases. For a birth trauma attorney like myself, one of the main areas of investigation for families is the readings on the fetal heart monitor and the actions/in-actions of the doctors.
WANT AN INVESTIGATION INTO YOUR BABY’S HYPOXIC INJURY?
Are you here searching for what is hypoxia because your baby has a hypoxic injury and you would like someone to do an investigation into the cause of the injury? Or are you here because your baby has a cerebral palsy diagnosis and now you are reading up on cerebral palsy and hypoxic injuries? Regardless, if you have questions and would like an investigation into your baby’s circumstances, you can pick up the phone and call me.
I can be reached at 301-850-4832. I talk with families all the time about birth trauma related injuries and I would be happy to listen to your story.
Marcus B. Boston, Esq.
2 Wisconsin Circle, Suite 700
Chevy Chase, Maryland 20815
1-833-4 BABY HELP