Recognizing the Effects of Infant Asphyxia and Cerebral Palsy

Infant asphyxia is a serious medical condition that can cause lifelong consequences and complications. If your child suffered from this condition, here is the information you need to know.

What Is Infant Asphyxia?

Asphyxia is a lack of oxygen and blood flow to the brain. This condition sometimes occurs during or immediately after birth. Because the brain is not receiving the necessary oxygen and nutrients, cells do not work properly and can cause brain damage. 

Common Causes of Infant Asphyxia 

Some of the most common causes of infant asphyxia include:

  • Failure to monitor fetal distress
  • Umbilical cord issues, such as the umbilical cord wrapping around the baby’s neck, compressed cords, or restricted cords
  • Breech birth or other abnormal birth presentation 
  • Failure to perform a timely C-section after trouble is detected
  • Large baby size, which can make delivery longer and more difficult
  • High or low blood pressure for the baby or mother
  • Shoulder dystocia 
  • Unformed or blocked airways for the infant

Symptoms of Infant Asphyxia 

Symptoms that infant asphyxia has occurred include:

  • Not breathing or weak breathing
  • Low heart rate
  • Seizures
  • Blue, gray, or pale skin color
  • Poor muscle tone
  • Too much acid in the blood
  • Baby’s first stool mixed into the amniotic fluid
  • Floppy or limp feeling of the body

Long-Term Effects of Infant Asphyxia 

Infant asphyxia can lead to long-term brain damage, cerebral palsy, and other serious medical conditions. However, not all instances of infant asphyxia lead to these serious consequences. The potential harm depends on:

  • The amount of time the child was deprived of oxygen
  • How low the oxygen level was
  • When the child received treatment 

If infant asphyxia causes brain damage when the child is born, the baby may develop hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy, which is a neurological impairment that is a leading cause of infant mortality and severe impairment. This condition can lead to serious medical conditions, such as:

  • Epilepsy and seizure disorders
  • Developmental delays
  • Respiratory conditions
  • Learning disabilities 
  • Behavioral and emotional disorders
  • Speech delays
  • Hearing or vision impairments
  • Nutritional problems
  • Orthopedic problems
  • Mental health conditions
  • Chronic pain

The condition can also lead to cerebral palsy and other motor disorders. Birth asphyxia is associated with approximately 7% of cerebral palsy cases. 

Potential Damages in an Infant Asphyxia Case

Infant asphyxia and cerebral palsy can result in a lifetime of medical expenses and care. The family may be able to recover compensation for these expenses, their lost wages as they take their child to medical appointments or care for them, home modifications to accommodate their disability, their child’s pain and suffering, and other damages through a personal injury claim. Medical malpractice or healthcare negligence may be responsible for your child’s injuries. A birth injury lawyer at Aitken * Aitken * Cohn can review the circumstances surrounding your child’s injury and determine your options for recovering compensation. 

Contact Us for Help with Your Child’s Infant Asphyxia Case

If your child suffered from birth asphyxia and developed cerebral palsy, contact our experienced birth injury lawyers. We can guide you through the process of pursuing fair compensation following a healthcare provider’s negligent care. Our Riverside personal injury lawyers provide free case consultation to explain your legal rights and how you can help your child through the pursuit of a personal injury claim.