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Without a proper oxygen supply, this birth injury comes into play

In hospital delivery rooms, emotions often run high. Childbirth can be a stressful yet joyous occasion. Bringing new life into the world is a complicated process, one that makes a mother and father grateful for the presence of trained medical personnel in the room. Because while emotions may be running high, there's a sense of safety, right?

Well, the fact of the matter is that mistakes and errors can occur. You'd think that in a delivery room they'd be prepared for any and all situations, but complications do arise. And when a "quick fix" isn't so easy, birth injuries become all the more likely. One such birth injury is hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy (HIE).

What is hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy?

HIE is an injury that occurs when oxygen cannot complete its circuit to the baby's brain. When oxygen cannot make it to the brain, brain cells start to die out. And the brain is not where the damage stops. The body's organs can also be affected. And while these organs may return to normal working capacity, the brain may never be the same again.

What are some causes of hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy?

Unfortunately, there are a number of reasons for this birth injury to occur.

  • Preeclampsia: This is a condition marked by high blood pressure, oftentimes in those who haven't experienced high blood pressure before. Pregnant women who develop preeclampsia get excess protein in their urine, and oftentimes experience swelling in their face and hands, seemingly out of nowhere.
  • Umbilical cord complications: When the umbilical cord faces pressure, oxygen and blood flow become compromised. Because the umbilical cord provides a steady flow of nutrients, restricting it is dangerous.
  • Placental abruption: If the placenta becomes separated from the uterus, the child's oxygen supply will be very limited.
  • Infections that have not received proper treatment: Whatever the mother feels, the baby does also. So, if the mother contracts some sort of sickness or infection, the sensitive child will fall victim.
  • Premature delivery: The rate of HIE in premature babies is over half. This is due to their underdeveloped bodies, principally their lungs.

Birth injury is never fun to read about. The joy of childbirth can be equally met with the stress it creates, and the idea that medical professionals wouldn't be able to handle a situation is scary. But, reading more into the potential causes might allow you to communicate better with hospital workers, or even help during a pre-birth checkup. If you suspect that a doctor or nurse may have mishandled a childbirth, reach out to a legal professional who can help you with your case.

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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