When oxygen deprivation happens during labor

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failure monitor fetal conditions
Legally reviewed by:
Steven R. Davis and John A. Davis, Jr.
August 4, 2023

Some of the people in Texas living with brain injuries today suffered those injuries because of oxygen deprivation during their birth. In some cases, this oxygen deprivation can occur because of medical negligence.

Hypoxia and apoxia

Oxygen deprivation may be either hypoxia, which means the flow of oxygen to the brain is reduced, or apoxia, which means the supply of oxygen is altogether cut off. The former may result in less severe birth injuries than the latter. When total oxygen deprivation happens, it only takes minutes for brain cells to start dying. Cerebral palsy and other disabilities may happen as a result of either reduced oxygen or complete deprivation.

The umbilical cord

Certain types of oxygen deprivation may happen during the pregnancy itself, such as if the placenta becomes separated from the uterus. Oxygen deprivation because of problems with the umbilical cord can happen during pregnancy, but they may occur during labor as well. For example, medical professionals must respond quickly if the baby’s umbilical cord becomes wrapped around the neck to prevent the infant’s oxygen from being cut off.

Problems in the birth canal

An infant may also be deprived of oxygen after becoming stuck in the birth canal during labor. Shoulder dystocia is a common reason that babies become stuck. This means that the infant’s shoulder cannot get past the mother’s pelvic bone.

Oxygen deprivation and negligence

When birth injuries that result in oxygen deprivation and brain damage are the result of medical negligence, this could mean that medical professionals caused the issue or did not react quickly enough or appropriately. When assessing whether medical negligence has occurred, a court considers whether the mother and child received a reasonable standard of care. Parents who believe their child’s injury was caused by negligence may want to consult an attorney to discuss the case. They might be eligible to receive compensation that could help with the child’s care.

John A. Davis, Jr.


John A. Davis, Jr. and Steven R. Davis

August 4 2023

Steven R. Davis and John A. Davis, Jr. are experienced attorneys at Davis & Davis, a law firm that specializes in medical malpractice cases in Texas. With a deep commitment to justice that guides their ethical approach, Davis and Davis have dedicated their careers to helping victims of medical negligence. They and their team continue to advocate for clients, despite the challenges posed by Texas's cap on recoverable damages in malpractice lawsuits. Davis & Davis pride themselves on their extensive experience in the field and their readiness to meet clients across the United States.

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