What is Hypoxia?
Hypoxia develops when your body and specifically your brain doesn’t get enough oxygen. Having low oxygen in your tissues starts as hypoxemia, or low oxygen in the blood. These are extremely dangerous conditions, and when they occur during childbirth, can cause a devastating birth injury. Without oxygen, the lungs, liver, brain, and other vital organs suffer permanently damaged in as little as a few minutes.
Early Signs of Hypoxia
Hypoxia can cause severe and permanent damage in a short matter of time, so it is vital that parents know the early signs of it, especially when a woman is in labor. Both the mother and child can show signs of hypoxia, and they include any combination of:
- Confusion or disorientation
- Fast heart rate
- Rapid breathing or shortness of breath
- Rapid eye movement
- Skin color change ranging from blue to cherry red to white
If a patient displays any of these signs, the patient must receive oxygen as quickly as possible to avoid permanent damage.
Causes of Hypoxia
Many complications during childbirth can lead to a lack of oxygen such as a sudden loss of blood, a sudden drop in blood pressure, excessive use of labor drugs, umbilical cord prolapse (when the umbilical cord comes out of the uterus before or with the presenting part of the baby), and many other medical mistakes. What is truly tragic is that most causes of hypoxia are preventable, and even when it happens it is treatable.
Longterm Effects of Hypoxia
While hypoxia that is addressed in time can cause only minor injuries, hypoxia that is caught too late can cause a multitude of serious injuries for both the mother and child. These include but are not limited to lung collapse, organ failure, brain damage, paralysis, developmental and mental delays, and even death. Hypoxia is also known to cause lifelong injuries such as blindness, cerebral palsy, and many forms of physical disability. These conditions often come with a heavy financial burden which most families have trouble meeting in the form of medical bills, special education, physical therapy, and more.
Experienced Hypoxia Lawyers
If you live in Pennsylvania and your child was denied oxygen during birth which caused injuries, there are options available for your family. The experienced hypoxia lawyers at Lopez McHugh LLP can help you file a claim and pursue compensation on your behalf. Call us today to schedule a free consultation.