Fronzuto Law Group Represents Victim of Hypoxic Brain Birth Injury in New Jersey
Fronzuto Law Group recently filed a birth injury lawsuit on behalf of an infant who suffered hypoxic ischemic brain injury and associated complications due to doctors’ failure to perform a timely cesarean section. Unfortunately, hypoxic ischemic injuries are all too common at birth, affecting thousands of children in the United States and around the world each year. The effects of these injuries are vast and complex, with potential consequences ranging from Cerebral Palsy to paralysis and developmental delays.
Hypoxic Ischemic Birth Injury Explained
In discussions of hypoxic ischemic birth injuries, you may come across terms such as intrapartum asphyxia, birth asphyxia, neonatal asphxia, and birth hypoxia. All of these terms can be used to describe the brain suffering from lack of oxygen during the birthing process. When the oxygen deprivation reaches a certain level of severity, this can lead to hypoxic ischemic encephalopothy.
Hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy, often known simply as “HIE,” is a form of brain injury that occurs when the brain is deprived of sufficient oxygen. When hypoxic brain injuries occur at birth, the brain is permanently damaged. The extent of an infant’s brain injury determines the severity of resulting impairments. Similarly, the time that elapses while the brain experiences lack of oxygen, directly correlates with the severity of an HIE birth injury.
In some situations, hypoxic ischemic birth injuries result in other serious conditions like Cerebral Palsy. Lack of oxygen during birth can even lead to death, with estimates suggesting it causes approximately 840,000 infant deaths internationally every year. The Neonatal Neurologic Network at University of Florida Health reports HIE occurring in between 3 and 20 of 1,000 live births in the U.S. In babies born prematurely, hypoxic ischemic injuries are estimated to occur in up to 60%.
How does Oxygen Deprivation at Birth Occur?
There are many reasons why lack of oxygen can happen before and during birth. Whether caused by failure to respond to fetal distress, a ruptured placenta, failure to treat preeclampsia or gestational diabetes, or prolonged labor, oxygen deprivation can result in serious, lifelong physical and cognitive conditions. The infant in this particular case suffered oxygen deprivation in the course of delayed C-section delivery. The sequence of events that led to his injuries illustrate the need for immediate, appropriate action when addressing pregnancy and delivery-related complications.
The pregnant woman in this case arrived at a local hospital at approximately 8:00 PM, seeking medical attention for the premature contractions she was experiencing. At this time, one of the doctors and attending hospital personnel determined the necessity for an emergency cesarean (C-section). At 8:35 PM, the physician who made the initial diagnosis and one other arrived in the operating room to perform the C-section.
At 8:40 PM, the uterine incision was made. Not less than 11 minutes elapsed between the initial uterine incision and the delivery of the child, who had experienced severe oxygen deprivation. He was subsequently transferred to another hospital for further treatment due to acute respiratory failure, birth depression, prematurity, and metabolic acidosis.
What Happens when the Brain Experiences Lack of Oxygen during Birth?
Brain injuries resulting from lack of oxygen during the labor and delivery process can lead to a host of complications and permanent conditions, including Cerebral Palsy. The infant in this case sustained several severe injuries caused by oxygen deprivation. The first, acute respiratory failure, refers to a lack of sufficient oxygen in the blood. Birth depression is also common in infants with HIE, referring to the need for ventilation, resuscitation, or breathing assistance. Metabolic acidosis is yet another serious condition marked by an excessive accumulation of acid in the body.
In many cases involving hypoxic ischemic birth injuries, brain damage caused by lack of oxygen results in significant and permanent injuries. The failure of doctors and other healthcare providers to identify the possibility of fetal distress and initiate immediate treatment cannot be overstated. As is the tragedy of this case, 11 minutes altered the course of one family’s life forever.
New Jersey Birth Injury Attorneys Representing Victims of Hypoxic Ischemic Brain Injuries during Labor and Delivery
If your child may have suffered complications due to lack of oxygen at birth and you are seeking information about your legal options, please feel free to contact the experienced New Jersey Birth Injury Attorneys at Fronzuto Law Group. Call 973-435-4551 or fill out our online form today.
For additional medical information regarding hypoxic brain birth injuries, read “Hypoxic Ischemic Encephalopathy in the Term Infant,” originally published in the medical journal Clinics in Perinatology.