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Hypoxia: a birth injury that may be caused by malpractice

Hypoxia is a condition that occurs when a baby does not receive enough oxygen before, during, or immediately after birth. Hypoxia is very serious for the baby. It can lead to brain damage, permanent disabilities, or even death. These devastating consequences are preventable if the medical staff takes the right steps to identify and treat hypoxia.

There are numerous causes for hypoxia. Problems with the umbilical cord, shoulder dystocia (where the baby’s shoulder becomes stuck during delivery), infections, and placental abruption (where the lining of the placenta separates from the uterus) are a few examples. 

When hypoxia occurs, it must be treated right away. The longer the condition is left untreated, the more likely that it will lead to permanent damage. Hypoxia can cause permanent disorders such as cognitive deficiencies, cerebral palsy, and hypoxic-ischemic disability.

The first step to treating hypoxia is to resuscitate the baby and stabilize the flow of oxygen. Additional treatment may be needed, including fluid management, hypo- or hyperthermia management, and providing proper ventilation. Depending on whether hypoxia progressed into permanent brain damage, treatment may be needed on a long-term basis.

Failure to properly identify and treat hypoxia can be the result of medical malpractice. Under Texas law, health care professionals must meet a certain standard of care when treating patients. If a professional fails to meet that standard and a patient is injured as a result, the professional may be liable for medical malpractice.

Hypoxia can be a devastating injury, not just for the baby but also for the parents. If you believe your baby was injured as a result of a medical provider’s negligence, you should speak with an attorney as soon as possible. An attorney who has experience in birth injuries can help you decide whether to file a medical malpractice claim.  

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