What To Do If Your Baby Stopped Breathing During Childbirth

Childbirth is as risky as it is beautiful. If your baby stopped breathing during childbirth, it is your doctor’s responsibility to resuscitate them. In the long term, though, your child may have to deal with the consequences of various conditions, including birth asphyxia complications.

Seek Medical Advice

If you believe your child did not receive enough oxygen during birth, seek medical advice as soon as you can. They could be suffering from complications.

A doctor can examine your baby to see if they suffer from conditions related to a lack of oxygen during birth. This examination can give you peace of mind or help you understand your treatment options. The sooner you do this, the sooner you will know what your child needs.

What Is Birth Asphyxia?

Birth asphyxia describes newborns who have not received enough oxygen. This condition can be the result of several issues:

  • A baby is not breathing properly after birth, and premature birth is a risk factor for this condition
  • Uterine rupture
  • A prolonged birth
  • An infection during childbirth
  • Umbilical cord prolapses

The harm of birth asphyxia depends on how long your child goes without oxygen. If they go too long without oxygen, they can pass away.

Short Term Birth Asphyxia Problems

Short term birth asphyxia usually corrects itself, although it can still result in:

  • Respiratory distress
  • Kidney problems
  • Reduced blood pressure
  • Blood clots

Severe Birth Asphyxia Conditions

If your baby does not receive adequate treatment after birth asphyxia, they could end up suffering from these long-term conditions:

  • Attention deficit disorders
  • Autism spectrum disorders
  • Cognitive disabilities
  • Cerebral palsy
  • Intellectual disabilities

Signs of Birth Asphyxia

Initially, a lack of oxygen during birth manifests in the child in these ways:

  • Bluish skin
  • Lack of muscle tone
  • Lowered heart rate
  • Epileptic seizures

How Is Birth Asphyxia Treated?

When your child is experiencing birth asphyxia, doctors can apply a range of quick fixes. These treatments are designed to reduce the chances of long-term issues.

They include:

  • Breathing support from a machine
  • Seizure medication
  • Dialysis to protect the kidneys
  • Blood cooling measures
  • Blood pressure medication

Treatment options differ if your child suffered from birth asphyxia in the past. You and your doctor may need to manage cognitive issues and other complications.

What Should I Do if I Believe My Child Received Inadequate Care?

Doctors need to act quickly when a child stops breathing during birth or is suffering from birth asphyxia. If they fail to do so, then the child could experience one of the many long-term complications.

This failure could have been the result of medical malpractice or negligence. A birth asphyxia lawyer can help you understand the specifics of your case. They can advise you on whether you have grounds for legal recourse or not.

Examples of Medical Malpractice

Negligence during childbirth can take many forms. These mistakes could make things worse if your baby stopped breathing during childbirth:

  • Improper usage of extraction devices, like forceps or vacuums
  • Improper medication administration
  • Failure to identify the onset of birth asphyxia
  • Failure to perform necessary procedures, like a cesarean section (C-section)

If your baby stopped breathing, this does not mean that malpractice occurred during childbirth. Birth defects can prevent your child from breathing and cause birth asphyxia. Unfortunately, these conditions are often non-preventable, meaning that doctors can do little to abate them.

What if I Know that Medical Malpractice Occurred?

You might suspect that malpractice caused your baby to suffer from birth asphyxia or other birth injuries.

In this case, a birth injury lawyer could provide these services:

Collect Evidence

Evidence is a prerequisite for any legal case. A lawyer assigned to your case will review the following to determine if medical malpractice occurred:

  • Medical records that show the extent of your baby’s injuries
  • Expert testimonies
  • Eyewitness statements
  • Birth records

If they believe that medical malpractice occurred, the case can proceed.

Assign Liability

To receive compensation, you must prove that medical malpractice injured your child. To do so, a lawyer can use available evidence to prove these qualifiers:

  • That the possible liable party (doctor) was responsible for the safety of your child
  • That this likely liable party failed to care for your child properly
  • That this failure to provide adequate care led to your child’s injuries
  • That your child has demonstrable injuries that stem from the incident

Pursue Compensation

Once a clear link between the liable party’s actions has been established, your lawyer can pursue compensation. This may take the form of an insurance settlement or lawsuit.

These damages may be available to you:

  • Pain and suffering that you or your child experienced
  • Reduced wages if you were forced to stay home and care for your child
  • Medical expenses related to your child’s condition

Learn More by Contacting a Birth Injury Attorney from Our Law Firm Today

The birth injury lawyers from Brown & Barron have over 130 combined years of legal experience. We are committed to providing legal support to the residents of Maryland.

Our firm works on contingency, meaning that we do not charge any upfront costs in most cases. Similarly, we provide free case consultations. We can discuss in further detail what to do if your baby stopped breathing during childbirth. Call our offices today to learn more.

Adult hand and baby hand
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