What Is Intrapartum Asphyxia?

Intrapartum asphyxia is a medical complication that can arise during the birth of a baby. It can cause the newborn to suffer organ failure, coma, or even death in more severe cases.

It is the doctor’s job to monitor the vitals of both the mother and the baby during delivery. Perinatal asphyxia can sometimes occur when a doctor fails to keep an eye on the baby’s oxygen supply during birth.

If this leads to an injury or medical complications, you may be entitled to file a damages lawsuit with the assistance of a Kentucky birth injury lawyer. A law firm like Wilt and Associates, PLLC can help you seek maximum compensation in such cases.

What Happens in Intrapartum Asphyxia?

Intrapartum means ‘during labor or delivery.’ So intrapartum asphyxia refers to the deficiency in blood oxygen supply that the baby may suffer just before, during, or after delivery.

Before birth, the baby is attached to the mother through the placenta and umbilical cord. These deliver the oxygen and nutrients that the fetus needs while inside the womb. However, during birth, the baby’s connection with the mother is cut. The child then has to transition to breathing air to get the needed oxygen.

Sometimes, this transition doesn’t take place properly. When this happens, the baby is unable to get enough oxygen. Doctors typically use supplemental oxygen at such a time to prevent oxygen deprivation in the child.

Symptoms of Birth Asphyxia

Different symptoms may indicate that a newborn is suffering from birth asphyxia. These include:

  • Slow reaction time
  • Pale or blue skin
  • Slow or difficult breathing
  • Not breathing at all

These are all telltale signs that a baby may be suffering from birth asphyxia. If timely care is not provided, asphyxia can lead to several complications for the child. These include:

  • Brain injury – Oxygen deprivation has a direct impact on the brain health of the baby. It can cause brain damage and injury, with serious long-term ramifications.
  • Paralysis – A baby may suffer coma due to intrapartum asphyxia.
  • Cognitive Issues – Brain damage or injury can lead to cognitive limitations for the child. Once grown up, the child may face learning difficulties, problems in hand-eye coordination, and other cognitive issues.
  • Death – In more severe cases, asphyxia can lead to death. This is usually the case when the baby remains deprived of oxygen for a significant duration.

Proving Negligence for Intrapartum Asphyxia

As noted above, birth asphyxia can sometimes be a result of a physician’s negligence. When this is the case, you can seek damages from the negligent party. Depending on the location and nature of the negligence, you may have a claim against the physician, the hospital, or other parties.

Before you can get compensation, you will need to prove that the doctor made a mistake during labor. And that this mistake led to asphyxia which caused the child’s medical issues.

Find Out How a Lawyer Can Help

Birth defect cases involving intrapartum asphyxia can become complicated. You will need to back up your claim with the relevant evidence. You may also need to get witness statements.

At Wilt and Associates, PLLC, we help families hold the negligent doctor or hospital accountable. Our attorneys work with you to file for maximum compensatory damages. Call us now at 502-253-9110 or fill out the form for a free consultation.