What is Birth Asphyxia?
Asphyxia is a term used to describe a lack of oxygen and blood flow to the brain. When a baby’s brain and other organs are deprived of oxygen during or immediately after birth, they can be at serious risk of harm. Here’s what you need to know about the likelihood of recovery from this type of birth injury.
How Does Birth Asphyxia Occur?
There are many ways birth asphyxia can happen. Here are some common causes:
- Umbilical cord prolapse (when the umbilical cord exits the cervix before the baby)
- Compressed umbilical cord
- Meconium aspiration syndrome (when a baby inhales their amniotic fluid and their first feces, known as meconium)
- Premature birth (a baby that is born before 37 weeks)
- Amniotic fluid embolism (a rare but severe complication in which the amniotic fluid enters the mother’s bloodstream and causes an allergic reaction)
- Uterine ruptures
- Separation of the placenta from the uterus
- Infections during labor
- Prolonged labor or labor that is difficult
- Mother’s blood pressure is too high or too low
- Mother’s blood oxygen levels are low before or during birth
- A baby born with anemia
Symptoms of Birth Asphyxia
If a baby suffers from birth asphyxia during or after birth, they may display the following warning signs:
- Bluish or gray skin tone
- No crying
- Low heart rate
- Flaccid muscle tone
- Weak reflexes
- Breathing difficulties
- Poor circulation
- Lack of urination
What Are the Consequences of Birth Asphyxia?
In the mildest cases of birth asphyxia and with immediate medical attention, a baby may be able to move forward and recover without any life-long complications. However, the following are both short-term and long-term effects of birth asphyxia should treatment be delayed for too long or not given at all.
Short-Term Effects of Birth Asphyxia
- Acidosis (acid buildup in the blood)
- Respiratory issues
- High blood pressure
- Blood clotting issues
- Kidney issues
Long-Term Effects of Birth Asphyxia
- Cognitive and behavioral issues
- Autism spectrum disorder
- Cerebral palsy
- Hearing impairment
Did Your Baby Suffer Birth Asphyxia? Contact Us For Help.
Learning your baby suffered asphyxia at birth and, as a result, sustained a birth injury, is devastating news. When medical professionals are negligent and fail to act when risks are presented, our Philadelphia birth injury attorneys at The Villari Firm, PLLC are here to help you pursue justice. We work with leading experts, including doctors and other legal professionals, to investigate and prepare client cases. Our firm spares no expense when it comes to helping our clients receive the compensation they deserve for their baby's future care.
Contact The Villari Firm, PLLC at (215) 372-8889 to schedule a free consultation today.