Toward the end of a pregnancy, most Texas mothers feel at least a bit of anxiety about the labor and delivery process. Even women who have had a child before know that this is a critical time for them and their babies since this is when things can go wrong.
One of the largest concerns in any birthing process is whether the baby continues to get enough oxygen. Even a few minutes without adequate oxygen could lead to a number of long-term issues such as cerebral palsy, developmental delays and even epilepsy and other seizure disorders. Due to the potential risks, the medical team attending your birth should be on the lookout for any signs of asphyxia neonatorum.
What does “asphyxia neonatorum” mean?
Asphyxia neonatorum is a potentially fatal condition in which your baby fails to receive enough oxygen during the birthing process. You may have heard terms such as birth asphyxia or perinatal asphyxia, which are other names for it. Any number of things could cause your baby to suffer from this condition, including the following:
- You may not receive enough oxygen during labor and delivery.
- The umbilical cord wraps around your baby improperly.
- Something obstructs your baby’s airway.
- Your blood pressure is too low or high during labor and delivery.
- Your delivery is difficult or takes too long.
- The placenta detaches from the uterine wall too quickly.
- Your baby may be anemic.
If any of these or other symptoms are not brought under control in time, your baby could suffer injury either due to the lack of oxygen itself or from the release of toxins into his or her body after the cells recover from not receiving enough oxygen. Obviously, the longer your baby goes without oxygen, the more severe any repercussions will be.
How could this affect your baby?
If your doctor is not already aware that asphyxia neonatorum is an issue for your newborn, he or she should quite quickly after delivery. Your doctor’s first examination of your baby occurs within his or her first five minutes of life. Your baby receives an Apgar score based on his or her response to stimulus, breathing, appearance, pulse and muscle tone. The highest score possible is 10.
An Apgar score of seven or lower could indicate that your baby suffers from birth asphyxia. Not only is brain damage a possibility, but other organs such as the liver, kidneys and heart could also suffer damage as well. Those organs may recover over time, but damage to the brain is often irreversible.
If your child suffered from asphyxia neonatorum, it may be because your doctor failed to see the signs and symptoms, monitor you closely, and provide you and your baby with the standard of care you both deserved. Before initiating any legal action, it may benefit you to gain an understanding of your rights and legal options. Medical malpractice cases can be complex, and it may be worthwhile to seek out a thorough evaluation of your claim first.