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What should Pennsylvania parents know about hypoxia?

Birth injuries are very serious injuries that have a profound effect on the baby. The horror doesn't stop there because a baby's birth injury can affect the entire family. Our readers in Pennsylvania might be interested to learn about a birth injury we haven't really discussed too much yet: hypoxia.

What is hypoxia?

Hypoxia is a condition that can lead to brain injury and other injuries because of the lack of oxygen to the brain. This can occur before birth, during birth or following the delivery. If it is left untreated, the effects of hypoxia can be very severe. If mild hypoxia is treated promptly and effectively, the baby might not suffer any lasting disabilities.

What causes hypoxia?

There are a variety of factors that can lead to hypoxia. Umbilical cord prolapse, placental abruption, placental insufficiency, umbilical cord injuries, infections, cardiovascular prolapse, shoulder dystocia and abnormalities of the blood vessels in the brain are all potential risk factors for hypoxia.

How is hypoxia treated?

Babies who have hypoxia should receive oxygen. This can mean putting an oxygen mask on the baby or intubating the baby to deliver air directly to the lungs. Other treatments, such as treating underlying infections, keeping the baby's temperature cool and fluid management might all be used to help the baby recover.

When a baby suffers from hypoxia caused by a medical professional's negligence or lack of care, the baby's parents might opt to seek compensation for the baby's injuries. Doing so means understanding how to file the claim and how to prove that medical negligence led to the baby's hypoxia.

Source: FindLaw, "Birth Injury: Hypoxia" Nov. 13, 2014

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