Complications can occur during labor and delivery. One complication that can have long-term effects on an infant is birth asphyxia.
What is birth asphyxia?
Birth asphyxia is a term that refers to deprivation of oxygen to the infant during the labor and delivery process. Depending on the amount of time the infant suffers from deprivation, the infant could suffer from a brain injury called hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy (HIE).
What are the long-term effects of birth asphyxia?
The long-term effects depend on the details of each case. In some cases, the infant will make a complete recovery and there are no long-term effects. In others, the infant could suffer from permanent brain damage. The impact of the brain damage on everyday life will depend on the area of the brain affected and the severity of damage.
Long-term effects can include:
- Failure to meet development milestones
- Intellectual disabilities
The impact of the injury is also affected by the gestational age of the infant. There is some evidence to support premature infants are more likely to develop long-term conditions like cerebral palsy compared to infants born at term.
Are there legal remedies for families who have a baby that suffers from HIE?
These problems can come with serious financial costs. In addition to medical bills and prescription needs, families may need to hire additional or specialized childcare to help raise a child with these medical needs.
If HIE is the result of a medical professional's failure to intervene during labor and delivery, the family may be eligible for compensation. An attorney experienced in infant brain injuries resulting from a lack of oxygen during delivery can review your case and discuss your options.