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What is perinatal ashyxia and how will it impact my child?

The birth process can be fairly traumatic for both baby and mother. This is one of the reasons that a large number of babies suffer injuries when they're born.

Physical pressure that a newborn and his or her mother is subjected to as the baby passes though the birth canal is often to blame for these birth injuries. While many babies are able to recover from these without any medical intervention, there are certain conditions that are either permanently debilitating or life-threatening.

Perhaps one of the most severe types of injuries is an intracranial hemorrhage. It's a type of birth injury that has the potential to cause blood clots to develop within or around a baby's brain. It also can deprive him or her of necessary oxygen or blood.

If a baby's tissues receive a reduced blood flow prior to, during or following birth, then he or she may suffer from perinatal asphyxia. The same can occur if the amount of oxygen mixing in with their blood decreases.

This condition is common among babies with obstructed flow of umbilical cord blood, if the mom or fetus experience an illness or infection or if the placenta separates prematurely from the uterus before the actual birth occurs. Fetuses with genetic abnormalities are at risk for developing perinatal asphyxia.

Babies who suffer from this condition may suffer from different ailments depending on which one of the body's organs was injured. For example, if the baby suffered a lung injury, then he or she may experience labored breathing or have inferior oxygen levels.Those with liver difficulties may struggle to digest milk.

In some cases, babies born with this condition may require medications to improve their condition. Others may require breathing treatments to help them breathe. Blood transfusions may be necessary for babies struggling with lower temperatures. While most of the symptoms babies with perinatal asphyxia experience will subside within a week of their birth, a small minority may have lasting brain damage.

Babies who suffer more serious forms of brain damage will generally experience conditions such as cerebral palsy or noticeable learning disorders. In some cases, babies will die from this condition.

If your baby's birth injuries have left him or her with permanent ill effects, then a Los Lunas attorney can advise you of your right to file a lawsuit against the doctors involved in your baby's medical care.

Source: Merck Manual, "Birth injuries in newborns," Robert Stavis, accessed June 07, 2018

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