Memphis Birth Injury Attorneys Handling Oxygen Deprivation Claims
Advocating for children with birth asphyxia in Memphis, Jackson and throughout West Tennessee
When children emerge from the cocoon of safety of the womb, the vast majority are strong, healthy and in perfect form. However, sometimes the birth process can be traumatic and there are many opportunities for things to go wrong. In adverse situations when the mother or the baby experiences complications at the time of childbirth, the infant may suffer from oxygen deprivation.
At the law firm of Bailey & Greer, PLLC, we help families in West Tennessee take legal action against the doctor and/or hospital responsible for their infant’s oxygen deprivation birth injuries. Our birth injury lawyers in Jackson and Memphis, as well as our on-staff Registered Nurses, can evaluate your child’s medical records to see if medical negligence was a contributing factor to their injury.
If so, you may be able to pursue legal remedies to win compensation for your medical expenses and for the emotional toll the whole ordeal has had on you and your family. We have the experience to build a strong case and the tenacity to stay in the fight until we reach an acceptable settlement or receive a verdict.
- What is birth asphyxia?
- What are the causes of oxygen deprivation?
- What are the symptoms of oxygen deprivation at birth?
- What injuries are caused by birth asphyxia?
- How is birth asphyxia diagnosed and treated?
- How can a Memphis birth asphyxia injury attorney help?
- What is the value of my West Tennessee oxygen deprivation birth injury claim?
What is birth asphyxia?
Asphyxia means a lack of oxygen and blood flow to the brain. Birth asphyxia means that this happened either before, during, or right after birth. Without the right amount of oxygen and blood flow, a baby can’t receive the proper nutrients it needs for its body to work properly, resulting in serious brain injury. Oxygen deprivation can also affect the brain, heart, lungs, kidneys, and other vital organs.
Seattle Children’s Hospital notes there are two stages of oxygen deprivation injuries:
- “The first stage happens within minutes if blood flow is low and cells do not get enough oxygen.
- The second stage is called ‘reperfusion injury.’ It can last for days or even weeks. This injury happens after the brain starts getting normal levels of blood and oxygen. Toxins released from the damaged cells cause this injury.”
Although birth asphyxia may be unpreventable in some emergency situations, it may also occur due to medical negligence.
What are the causes of oxygen deprivation?
Oxygen is vital to sustain life, and when the brain is not receiving enough oxygen to function, the cells begin to die off. As cells die, brain damage occurs and this can do lasting damage to the brain and to the rest of the body. Hypoxic Ischemic Encephalopathy (HIE) describes a condition where the infant’s oxygen supply is diminished.
There are many factors that can cause HIE during childbirth, including:
A prolonged labor can also cause oxygen deprivation to a newborn, especially when a medical provider fails to order a timely C-section.
What are the symptoms of oxygen deprivation at birth?
Although every baby may exhibit different signs of birth asphyxia, medical staff should be aware of some common symptoms. Before birth, signs of oxygen deprivation include an abnormal heart rate or increased level of acid in the baby’s blood.
After birth, symptoms of birth asphyxia include:
- Pale or bluish skin color
- Decreased heart rate
- Weak reflexes and muscle tone
- Weak cry
- Gasping or hard time breathing
- Meconium (stool) in the amniotic fluid
Your doctor and birthing team should be aware of these symptoms and address them immediately in order to avoid or minimize serious injury.
What injuries are caused by birth asphyxia?
When an infant is deprived of oxygen at birth it can cause several different problems as the child develops, including:
- Seizures or epilepsy
- Physical disabilities
- Developmental delays
- Learning disabilities
- Cerebral palsy
- Vision and hearing impairment
On the extreme end, some infants can die from birth asphyxia, some will suffer significant brain damage, and other babies will have ongoing neurological and developmental challenges that will have an impact on the rest of their lives.
How is birth asphyxia diagnosed and treated?
Oxygen deprivation after birth is typically diagnosed through a newborn’s APGAR score. This is taken immediately after birth and involves five factors – appearance, pulse, grimace (reflexes), activity (muscle tone), and respiration. Each factor is scored on a scale from 0 to 2, with 2 being the best score, and the highest possible total score of 10. Scores lower than 7 may indicate a baby does not have enough oxygen.
Other diagnostic tools include blood tests. If a doctor suspects oxygen deprivation, they must act quickly. Treatment options depend on the severity of oxygen loss and how long the baby was without proper oxygen levels.
- Before birth, the mother may receive extra oxygen to boost the baby’s levels
- Cesarean delivery can prevent prolonged deliveries that rob the baby of oxygen
- Post-birth, infants may need a ventilator, extra warmth, and constant monitoring
Depending on how long an infant suffered oxygen deprivation, they may recover completely or experience long-term injuries.
How can a Memphis birth asphyxia injury attorney help?
When a doctor or other medical professional’s negligence was the cause of your child’s oxygen deprivation-related birth injury, you may be entitled to compensation for your child’s medical expenses and other losses related to their injury. If your baby has suffered a birth injury and you believe that it was a result of medical negligence, speak to a competent Jackson or Memphis-based birth injury attorney at Bailey & Greer, PLLC who will advise you as to how to go about obtaining compensation.
What is the value of my West Tennessee oxygen deprivation birth injury claim?
If medical negligence or malpractice resulted in a birth asphyxia injury, you may be eligible for financial compensation on behalf of your child. These damages can include:
- Medical expenses
- Lost wages
- Loss of future income
- Pain and suffering
We understand that your child is unique and so are their injuries. That’s why we focus on securing the proper amount of compensation that doesn’t only take care of their current injuries, but ensures their future care as well.
Under Tennessee statute of limitations, you must file a malpractice claim within one year of the date the injury is discovered, or within three years of the date the injury occurred. This is why it’s important to act quickly and protect your rights to compensation.
Work with a Memphis birth injury attorney who will help obtain justice for your family
When a preventable medical mistake has caused your newborn to suffer an oxygen deprivation birth injury you may wonder what can be done to make things right. An experienced birth injury attorney from the law firm of Bailey & Greer, PLLC will listen to your story and determine who is at fault for your child’s injury.
We will fight for compensation for the losses you have suffered and for the pain and suffering you and your child have endured. To schedule your free initial consultation at our Memphis or Jackson office to discuss your case, call us at 901-475-7434 or fill out our contact form. At Bailey & Greer, PLLC, we are small enough to care, big enough to fight, and experienced enough to win.