Brain Damage from Oxygen Deprivation

New York Brain Damage from Oxygen Deprivation at Birth

Newborns are at risk when doctors fail to follow accepted medical standards. Oxygen deprivation during birth is a significant and usually preventable medical error that can result in brain damage. At Rich & Rich, our New York City lawyers help clients pursue medical malpractice lawsuits so they can recover compensation to offset the costs of this serious birth injury.

What is oxygen deprivation?

Oxygen deprivation is a lack of oxygen to the brain, which causes brain cells to die and can lead to brain damage.

How oxygen deprivation can occur from medical malpractice during delivery

Doctors attach monitors to the baby that provide indications when the baby is not receiving enough oxygen. Failure to act when a baby is oxygen-deprived constitutes medical malpractice. The most common causes of oxygen deprivation during birth are:

  • The umbilical cord. Before and during birth, the umbilical cord carries oxygen to a baby's brain. During delivery, babies can go into fetal distress when the umbilical cord becomes twisted, compressed or wrapped around the neck.
  • Delayed delivery. Oxygen deprivation can also occur when delivery is prolonged because of the baby’s position or when the baby stays in the birth canal too long. Performing a C-section can prevent oxygen deprivation. An obstetrician should know in advance when a mother’s pelvis is too small for delivery or the size of the baby is too large for a safe vaginal birth, and plan for a delivery that avoids birth injury.

Oxygen deprivation symptoms in newborns

Babies suffering oxygen deprivation can develop cerebral palsy, a condition characterized by lack of muscle coordination, rigid or lax muscle tone, cognitive problems and difficulty walking, talking or hearing. Symptoms associated with oxygen deprivation include:

  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Poor appetite
  • Diarrhea
  • Short-term memory loss
  • Trouble with speech
  • Coordination problems
  • Cognitive disability
  • Neurological impairment

The long-term impact of oxygen deprivation

Severe brain damage can have a long-term impact on patients and their families, running into millions of dollars for medical care over the span of a lifetime. Additionally, the individual’s quality of life is greatly diminished. Often, patients with brain damage require assisted care with even the most basic daily needs and their incapacity prevents them from ever being able to hold a job.

Discuss your injury with our malpractice lawyers at Rich & Rich, P.C.

Don’t wait. Taking prompt action is vital for recovering damages. Contact Rich & Rich, P.C. today.

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