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Oxygen Complications for Infants: Birth Asphyxia and Overventilation

Published on January 11th, 2019

birth asphyxia overventilation thurswell law birth injuryWhen an infant is deprived of oxygen for too long during the birth process, the resulting condition is known as birth asphyxia. When a newborn is put on a ventilator to regulate respiratory function, they can receive too much oxygen and this can lead to overventilation. Both too little and too much oxygen can result in major birth injuries and lifelong medical problems.

Understanding Birth Asphyxia

When a baby suffers a lack of oxygen, the brain does too. This problem can lead to temporary or permanent brain injury. There are many potential causes of birth asphyxia during labor and delivery, including:

  • A delayed C-section.
  • Umbilical cord wrapped around the neck.
  • Long or difficult delivery.
  • Blood pressure problems.
  • Anesthesia complications.
  • Resuscitation errors.

Birth asphyxia is almost always preventable. Proper prenatal care should identify any potential complications, like a problem with the umbilical cord. Doctors can plan for a potential premature birth. An overdue birth – and related problems like meconium aspiration – can be prevented with a planned induction or planned C-section.

Careful monitoring of mother and baby during labor and delivery and quick intervention should allow every infant to be delivered without birth asphyxia. But things do go wrong, and one mistake by a medical professional can alter a lifetime.

The Danger of Overventilation

If a newborn is born prematurely, they often require a ventilator to regulate respiratory function. If an infant shows signs of needing help breathing, they may need a breathing machine to provide them with oxygen. Sign of overventilation include bluish-looking skin, weak reflexes, low heart rate, and organ dysfunction.

Ventilators are a vital part of delivery rooms and NICUs and save babies’ lives every day. Improper use of a ventilator or poor monitoring of a ventilator, however, can result in overventilation. If a baby gets too much oxygen and expels too much carbon dioxide, they can suffer brain damage or lung damage.

Conditions Caused by Oxygen Problems in Infants

Some instances of oxygen deprivation during birth can be so severe that they cannot be treated or reversed and the newborn suffers permanent brain damage. Cerebral palsy, intellectual disabilities, developmental delays, and other birth injuries can be caused by birth asphyxia or overventilation.

If your child has suffered birth asphyxia, overventilation, or any other birth injury because of the negligence of a medical professional, schedule a consultation with the Michigan birth trauma lawyers at Thurswell Law to discuss your situation. The medical bills you will incur and the lifetime of financial obligation you will have for your child’s therapy, education, and care are beyond most peoples’ means. Get compensation for your medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering. We do not charge any fees unless you collect. Call (248) 354-2222 today.

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