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New study reveals more long-term effects of hypoxia

Welcoming a baby into the world is a miracle. However, it can be an overwhelming and frightening experience when Arizona mothers go into labor early and give birth to a premature baby. 

It is common knowledge that premature babies face more health risks than babies born at full-term. And due to the high standard of care that all medical professionals owe each and every patient, it is up to them to mitigate those risks. Yet, a new study determined that premature infants face even more serious risks than previously thought.

Lack of oxygen common in premature infants, but always dangerous

Premature babies are more likely to suffer from hypoxia or oxygen deprivation. This is common since many premature babies do not have fully developed organs. Despite how common it is, it is an incredibly damaging condition.

A lack of oxygen can lead to several long-term injuries, including:

  • Cerebral palsy
  • Seizures
  • Cardiovascular issues
  • Respiratory distress

These conditions can significantly impact your child's future and can be both emotionally and financially taxing on you and your family.

New research found more long-term risks from hypoxia

There is no doubt that the lack of oxygen to the brain could also result in severe brain damage. In the past, researchers believed that lack of oxygen in the womb, at the time of birth or after birth would kill brain cells. 

However, a new study conducted by Oregon Health & Science University determined that hypoxia could do much more damage. Oxygen deprivation could affect the function of the hippocampus, which operates an individual's ability to learn and remember information. The study found that lack of oxygen prevented the brain cells in the hippocampus from maturing properly. 

This could lead to slow neurological development and significant learning disabilities in the child's future.

Medical negligence is the primary cause of these long-term conditions

The long-term injuries and effects of hypoxia can develop in just a short period of oxygen deprivation. And the article states that premature babies in neonatal intensive care units (NICU) could endure nearly 600 short periods of hypoxia each week.

That is unacceptable, especially since hypoxia is easily preventable and treatable. It is clearly medical negligence if medical professionals do not:

  • Carefully monitor infants in the NICU
  • Respond quickly to any signs of distress
  • Provide the proper treatment in cases of hypoxia

Parents should be able to trust that medical professionals will offer the best possible care for their vulnerable children. When hospital or doctor negligence has severe consequences on the future of your family, you must understand all of the options you have to take legal action against this negligence.

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Law Offices of Raymond J. Slomski, P.C.

2929 North Central Avenue Suite 700 Phoenix, AZ 85012 Phone: 602-635-7603 Fax: 602-230-8707 Phoenix Law Office Map