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Birth Injury

What is Birth Hypoxia (Asphyxia)?

February 20, 2020

When babies cry at birth, a sigh of relief goes up in the delivery room, as it usually signals a healthy baby. This first cry helps clear the lungs and indicates the baby is trying to take its first breath. If that cry doesn’t happen within the first minute of life there may be a problem with the baby’s ability to start regular breathing.

This can lead to birth hypoxia (asphyxia), also known as hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy (“HIE”), which occurs when a baby doesn’t get enough oxygen during labor and delivery. This condition can cause long-term disability or, in some cases, death.

What are the causes of birth hypoxia (asphyxia)?

One or more of the following can cause birth hypoxia (asphyxia):

  • Failure to properly interpret fetal heart monitoring
  • Failure to effectuate a timely delivery by C-section or vacuum
  • Excessive use of Pitocin, a medication used to induce or augment labor
  • Failure to perform a timely induction to initiate labor
  • Placental abruption/separation

The risk of birth hypoxia (asphyxia) increases when the mother has diabetes or develops preeclampsia. This condition causes high blood pressure during pregnancy and possible damage to the liver, kidneys or other organ systems. The risk of birth injuries increases for premature babies and when the mother is younger than 16 or older than 40 years old.

A baby who loses oxygen before, during or after delivery can experience severe brain or other organ injuries. Babies should never be born with a lack of oxygen. Proper management of labor and delivery can avoid this situation. Any time a baby is born in this state a proper investigation should be done by experienced birth injury attorneys.

How can a birth injury attorney help me?

If negligence of the medical staff was a factor in your child’s birth injury, they should be responsible for the injury they caused. If you suspect medical mistakes could have been a factor in your child’s injury, contact the experienced birth injury attorneys at Jeffrey M. Goldberg Law Offices so that we can investigate and gather crucial evidence.

We serve clients from our offices in Chicago and Milwaukee, representing people throughout Illinois, Wisconsin and the rest of the Midwest. Contact us today to schedule a free consultation.

About The Author

Photo of Jeffrey  Goldberg
Attorney Jeffrey M. Goldberg has spent his entire professional career handling cases involving birth injury, medical malpractice, product liability and related accidents.